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Safety Boots: Footwear Protection for Ground Hazards

There's an old saying that goes,  “When your feet hurt, you hurt all over." But it doesn't take an ancient wise man to figure that out. In the working industry, the feet are one of the most “taken for granted" body parts. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics in 2007, there were about 3.7 million workers who had been injured due to physical factors such as wet or slippery floors, uneven walkways, ladders and other contact-related accidents.

Here are some of the causes of disabling injuries that can occur if workers do not wear the proper foot protective equipment:

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Broken ankle/leg - the foot gets trapped between objects or cracks; rolled over by a moving vehicle such as bulldozers, forklifts, carts etc; falls from a higher level such as ladders; heavy falling debris hitting the foot

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Cuts, lacerations, severed toes - saws, mowers, sharp rolling machines, glass shards, fallen scalpels etc.

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Burns - chemical splashes, explosives, flammable substances, acid spills

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Cyanosis or frost bites - cold weather, walk-in freezers, extreme ice exposures

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Punctured foot — nails, glass shards, blunt objects

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Sprains and twisted ankles — slippery floors, misaligned walkways

Wearing safety boots with steel-toe tips, rubber boots, chemical-resistant boots and shoe covers reduce the workers' exposure to possible hazards. These safety footwear protect the workers' feet from sharp objects, falling materials, rolling vehicles, wet floors, oily surfaces, solid wastes, chemical spills, and extreme temperature conditions.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Requirement for Foot Protection: "The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, and where such employee's feet are exposed to electrical hazards."

Working in an industrial business has the highest risks for foot injuries. The workers face all kinds of dangers that could lead to disabling injuries. For company owners, this could mean higher workers' compensation, an unproductive business and low profits. To prevent this from happening, employers must comply with the OSHA's requirements in promoting employees' safety inside the workplace.

Using foot protective gear help the workers function more inside the facilities. These also prevent them from having serious physical injuries such as broken bones, punctured feet and twisted ankles. Promoting the use of protective gears also ensures the companies' compliance, protecting them against liabilities and damages that may be charged against them due to negligence.

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