Having the right site safety boots for your workers is key for their comfort and safety. Everyone has had that hike or that day at work where you’ve worn the wrong pair of shoes and you get uncomfortable blisters that make walking and functioning unpleasant for a week or two after. So if you don’t buy the right boots for your workforce, they won’t be able to work at their best - there’s nothing worse than having niggling discomfort all day.
Each individual has a differently shaped foot, instep, foot arch, foot width, and length. When buying safety boots, there isn’t always one size fits all approach - just as you wouldn’t buy the same hard hat suspension for each person; it’s recommended you have different options for individual wearers. Let each person choose from designated styles - that are PPE approved - and if the boots are uncomfortable, you may need to purchase an additional pair in another style. Although costly at first, once each worker has found his or her product, you’ll know from that point forward what to order.
It’s vital to assess workplace risks and decide what you need in your worker’s footwear. Once you’ve identified workplace hazards, consider what type of shoe is needed. Here are some common hazards:
- Slippery floors
- Dropping heavy or sharp objects onto feet
- Walking on hot surfaces
- The presence of acids, solvents, or oils
- The presence of sharp objects on the floor
- Electrical hazards
If your workplace carries any of these risks, you must protect your workers against them with the correct footwear.
Here are 5 considerations for business owners when buying site safety boots.
Slips and trips are the most common workplace accident. Make sure that any site safety boots have slip-resistant properties, and appropriate tread.
Find out if your company is PPE compliant, according to the latest regulations:
Even though your worker may find his or her favourite trainers more comfortable, if PPE is deemed necessary, it is not optional. A worker cannot legally sign a waiver to wear his or her own footwear; therefore, it’s important to find a safety boot that fits the wearer comfortably. A trainer is an incredibly dangerous shoe on a building site - a nail can easily pierce the soft sole of a trainer! You may want to consider shoes with moisture wicking properties for comfort too. For cold environments, fur lined (or faux fur) is an appreciated feature.
Make sure the materials of the shoe protect against the hazards you have identified. Shoes that are exposed to acids need a rubber compound and optional polymer toe cap, for example. For many sites, you’ll need non-metallic safety components in the shoes for light or heavy wear - depending on your needs. Some shoes have anti-static properties and/or heat resistant outsoles. There are different shoe materials to choose from so make sure you know what you need for maximum safety.
When buying safety footwear, you want to consider how your workers will use the footwear. A rigger will need different footwear than an electrician or a construction worker. Some workers will need waterproofing, steel toes, and other safety considerations. You may be buying steel capped shoes when all you need is non-slip waterproofing. Make sure each shoe covers the needs you actually have; however, it’s always better to be overprotected than underprotected. Make sure you’re buying shoes that are fit for purpose.
Despite condition, work boots will need replacing about every 6 months, especially if there’s lots of wear and tear. Each month, have your workers check the tread and materials to see how well they’re holding up; replace any defective footwear as it compromises safety.
Here are some of our most popular site safety shoes:
What Xamax Offers
Need safety boots or other workwear for your company? Have a look at our workwear buying guide.