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How to choose the right safety footwear

Pro Tip

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Author: Michèle Langlais

Which factors contribute to your choice of safety shoes or boots? Do you follow your gut, prioritize comfort, go for something nice looking and trendy, or do you blindly put your trust into the hands of the salesperson?

 

You should first and foremost be aware that safety footwear is mandatory for all workers exposed to the possibility of foot injuries. You should therefore first identify the risks present in your work environment to guide your decision. What are these risks?

 

–      Objects that may penetrate the bottom or side of the foot.

–      Any sharp or pointed objects that might cut the top of the feet.

–      Splatter from welding, molten metal and corrosive or irritating liquids

–      Falling of heavy or burning objects

–      Electric shock

–      Explosive atmospheres presenting a risk of electrostatic discharge

–      Exposure to water or extreme cold or heat

–      Work in a forest environment

 

Good. Now, should you go for a safety boot or shoe? Consider the environment you work in. If you work on a rough or unstable terrain with a serious risk of slips and falls, you need to effectively protect your ankles, making boots the better option. We recommend puncture-resistant soles where the presence of sharp or pointed objects on the ground is an issue. Protecting the top of the foot is also necessary to prevent the risk of pricking, cutting or fracture in the part of the foot not protected by the steel toe cap.

 

Make sure the shoes or boots are CSA Z195 certified, and pay careful attention to the markings on the tab of the right shoe to check whether the model is appropriate for your type of work.

 

Understanding markings on safety shoes:

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