Does your company have a footwear policy?

Properly fitted footwear helps prevent fatigue and increases your comfort level – which is critical when you may be standing on your feet all day or working outside.

But the shoes you wear can be a safety measure, helping prevent unintentional falls. When a fall is reported, does your company evaluate the footwear worn to see if it contributed to the fall?

In general, a footwear policy might be: wear good shoes with good support and slip-resistant soles. Stay away from shoes that can easily come off, such as flip flops. Wear low or flat heels and avoid smooth soles.

If the footwear you wear isn’t PPE, then take into consideration:

» Do you work on oily or wet floors?
» Do you spend a lot of time outdoors?
» Is there a risk of objects falling on or hitting your feet?
» Is there any equipment that may roll over the feet?
» Are there any sharp or pointed objects that may cut your feet or penetrate your shoes?
» Is there potential exposure to extreme heat or cold temps?
» Is there any potential exposure to chemicals or other liquids that could spill and damage your feet?

Footwear tread - footwear policyIn general, look for slip-resistant footwear that:

» Provides a good grip
» Has a good tread pattern and a flexible sole
» Is comfortable
» Is reasonably easy-to-clean and maintain
» Will last a reasonable time

Educate employees on the role sensible footwear plays in the day-to-day, normal flow of work and prevention of slips, trips and falls.

Find more about footwear protection starting on page 19 of this OSHA Personal Protective Equipment booklet.

» Working Feet and Footwear
» Footwear: Safety Fact Sheet
» OSHA Foot Protection: 1910.136

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photo credit: marc falardeau via photopin cc

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