Small Business Brief

Construction, Safety & Loss Prevention

Construction Safety Standards: 5 Things to Know About Safety Footwear

If you have a construction business, are you following OSHA regulations for safety clothing? Check out this guide to the safety footwear standards.

It could cost your business $9,600 per lost workday from a foot injury. In 2016 60,000 employees experienced a foot injury that made them miss at least one day from work.

About 80% of those injuries were from a falling object that weighed less than 30 pounds. Safety footwear is one of the construction site safety tips you should follow.

1. What Dangers Are You Facing?

OSHA foot protection standards apply to certain hazardous situations. Your employees should wear protective boots if they work near any of these hazards:

  • corrosive and/or poisonous liquids
  • electrical hazards including static electricity
  • Heavy objects
  • Sharp objects
  • Molten Metal
  • Hot surfaces
  • Slippery surfaces

2. What Do the Symbols Mean?

Look for a code stating the shoe’s compliance with safety footwear standards. Once you know the hazards you will face, you can find a boot that has an appropriate rating.

The first line of the rating is this: ASTM F2413-17. This means that the boots follow the ASTM testing safety standard.

The second rating you will see is something like this: M/I/75/C/75. This means the shoes are for males, has an impact rating of 75 pounds, and a compression rating of 75 pounds.

The third line will look like this: Mt/75. This rating indicates the specific safety quality of the boot. This could include metatarsal, conductive, static, puncture, and electrical ratings.

3. Style or Safety?

Do not sacrifice safety for comfort. Don’t sacrifice comfort either though.

Look for shoes that don’t pinch your feet anywhere. You’ll want enough room for good socks too.

You don’t want your toes right up against the toe cap. This will be uncomfortable and cause them to wear out faster.

If you have hot feet that tend to sweat look for leather over synthetic. Walk around in the shoes for a bit and make sure they are big enough to account for swelling.

4. You Get What You Pay For

The price you pay for boots will vary depending on the material of the boots. Leather tends to be more breathable than synthetic materials.

As a general guide, sneaker style safety shoes will range $50 to $150. Safety boots will cost a bit more at $100 to $200. Waterproof safety boots will cost the most at $190 to $300.

5. Know When to Replace Your Safety Shoes

It is time to replace your shoes when the protective elements are showing through. If the steel toe is dented and not springing back.

If the seams are separating then they are falling apart on your feet. Look at the tread, if it’s worn away smooth it’s time to replace.

Prolong Their Life

If your boots are already starting to show signs of wear, you can do some steel toe boot repair. This works when you start to see the protective steel showing through.

Buy Your Safety Footwear

Safety footwear is a must when your employees engage in potentially dangerous activities. This could include heavy objects, slippery surfaces, or corrosive liquids.

OSHA steel toe boots come with a safety rating. You need to use this rating and the comfort level of the shoes to determine the right pair for you.

You get what you pay for, so don’t try to be cheap. This also applies to knowing when it’s time to replace your shoes.

Check out our blog for more articles related to construction topics.