Best Foot Forward – Take care of your feet

Most people don’t think much about their feet—until a foot begins to hurt.  Damage to even one bone, ligament, or muscle in the foot can be very painful and make it difficult or impossible for you to keep on your feet and do your job.  Unfortunately, statistics tell us that work-related foot injuries are common.

Foot injures can result from:

  • Broken bones caused by heavy falling or rolling objects.
  • Bruises and stubbed toes caused by bumps.
  • Puncture wounds from sharp objects.
  • Sprains from slips and falls.
  • Amputations caused by machinery and tools.
  • Burns from hot or hazardous substances.

Depending on the hazard, you may need to wear foot protection, such as:

  • Rubber or wood-soled shoes for wet or slippery surfaces.
  • Reinforced, impact-resistant work shoes or boots to protect feet and toes from being bruised or crushed.
  • Rubber or neoprene boots to protect against chemical hazards.
  • Metal insoles or reinforced soles to protect against punctures.
  • Non-conducting shoes, with no metal or nails, for working around electricity.

Even when protective footwear isn’t needed, work shoes or boots should:

  • Fit comfortably, without slipping or pinching the foot or toes.
  • Be solidly constructed of sturdy materials that can resist wear and tear.
  • Provide good foot support.
  • Have low hells and nonskid soles for good traction.
  • Be in good condition, with no rips or holes.
  • Fasten securely; laces shouldn’t drag on the floor.

Follow these safety rules to protect your feet on the job at all times:

  • Identify foot hazards for your job and select the proper foot protection.
  • Always wear appropriate foot protection whenever there’s a risk of foot injury.
  • Keep alert to foot hazards and avoid careless or risky behavior that could result in a foot injury.
  • Watch where you’re going and walk; don’t run, from place to place.
  • Always pay attention to where you place both your feet.
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