When it comes to work safety, there are countless rules, regulations, and recommendations for ways to keep yourself protected and productive on the job. From hard hats to harnesses, emergency stop buttons and bright vests, many different lines of work employ many different types of safety measures. But the one thing that some people might not think about right away is one of the most important: the need to protect your feet.
Workplace compliance and regulations
If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet for a significant amount of time, you are pretty familiar with the idea of having a good pair of comfortable work boots. But if you work in an industry that deals with heavy machinery or other potential hazards, chances are protective footwear is part of the required uniform.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, exists to ensure that workers are not subjected to hazardous work conditions without the proper equipment and training, and the organization requires all companies to conduct an assessment of hazard conditions in order to pinpoint risks in the workplace. This applies to potential foot injury hazards as well. For those jobs that are found to put your feet in danger, protective footwear such as steel toe boots are often standard issue. But there is an ongoing debate about the benefits of composite toe vs steel toe boots, and which does a better job of keeping your feet safe.
Composite toe vs steel toe work boots
When it comes to the composite toe vs steel toe debate, there are strong arguments for each. What it really boils down to is what works best for you. Do you feel a better fit with one over the other? Do you work in an environment where steel toe might be better than composite toe boots, or the other way around? Do they both fall under the safety guidelines in your particular workplace?
Steel toe boots are generally more affordable and provide great protection from punctures where composite toe shoes don’t quite hold up. But composite shoes, which are those made of a blend of materials without the metal, are more lightweight, provide great insulation, and have higher electrical resistance.
There are plenty of factors to consider, and you will ultimately have to make the decision. If you are having trouble though, you can ask for advice from those you work with, as well as a shoe sale expert who is familiar with the differences and your type of work.
Take care of your feet
We may not think of it often, but really are feet are far more important than we give them credit for. Carrying the weight of our bodies, absorbing the impact of each step, and not always provided with the appropriate amounts of support or protection. They may seem indestructible for everything they’re put through, but they are really a complex and intricate system of 26 bones, 107 ligaments, 33 joints, and 19 muscles. While all of those elements generally work in perfect harmony to get us where we need to go, should any one of them sustain injury, you may be off your feet for awhile during the healing process.
This is why protective footwear is so important. One study showed that of all the workers who sustained a foot injury on the job, only 23% of them were wearing safety boots or protective footwear at the time. The right shoes can do a lot to keep you up and moving around the way you want to be.
An average individual might walk about 10,000 steps each day. Compare that with the average of 30,000 steps of a construction worker or one doing heavy labor. Have the composite toe vs steel toe debate and make your choice. Finding the right footwear is important, and ensuring comfort, stability, and protection above all will make all the difference.