Foot injuries are very common in people who work in potentially hazardous areas and/or with hazardous materials. According to the National Safety Council, in any given year, approximately 120,000-foot injuries related to jobs take place, with a third of them being toe injuries. It is important to be aware of the fact that the foot takes a lot of stress each and every day of our lives. On an average day a person brings to bear a force of approximately several hundred tons down on their feet, causing the feet to be one of the most susceptible areas of the body for injury.
When working in the construction industry and/or an industrial setting where many hazards abound, it is important to wear safety (or steel-toe boots) to protect yourself from getting in harm's way. Safety boots are "durable boots made of leather or rubber that have a steel reinforcement in the toe to protect the foot against falling objects." As well these boots very often are designed with steel inserts in the soles to prevent puncture wounds from taking place from below the surface of the boot.
The human foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints and a complex network of more than 100 tendons, ligament and muscles, and an incredible amount of blood vessels and nerves. Interestingly enough, a person's feet combined constitute a quarter of all of the bones in the human body.
Increasing your on-the-job savvy when you are employed in a hazardous situation should be top priority. Always keep abreast of what job hazards threaten your work environment and what measures you can take to protect yourself. Never be a daredevil at work as it's not worth the risk. Avoid taking foolish chances at all costs. Always go the extra mile to do your job properly so shortcuts will not be necessary.
Keep your eyes and ears open and stay alert and aware of any hazards, whether they are overt or hidden. Keep your co-workers in mind when it comes to safety issues at work. Be thoughtful and understanding to the plight of others. Don't be a rule breaker and cut corners as it rarely does anything for work performance but just leads to injuries and other problems you are better off not dealing with. Always make use of your equipment in the way it is supposed to be used as opposed to attempting to devise new ways to use it. Pay the utmost attention as you go about your job duties. Inattention can lead to accidents and harm can easily come to yourself and/or others. Pace yourself as you go about your job. Don't' try to hurry anything nor lag behind either. Work at a comfortable, steady speed that suits you. Always keep your work area clean, tidy and organized. Make sure all of your tools and/or necessary supplies are easily accessible.
Protective footwear is a must in order to help ensure that one's feet remain safe and free of injuries. Safety shoes and boots help prevent injuries from happening but when they do happen to occur, they cut down on the severity of them. However, according to the National Safety Council, studies have shown that only "one out of four" victims of on-the-job foot injuries regularly wear any kind of safety footwear. Of the three who don't wear safety shoes or boots, the reasons cited are that they don't like how they feel on their feet or they are not aware of how truly beneficial protective footwear can be.
Safety footwear has gotten a bad rap as being heavy, uncomfortable and downright unattractive. This does not have to be the case. Many companies manufacture safety footwear that is flexible, comfortable, and stylish and yet provides adequate protection.
The general requirements for safety footwear are called the "Occupational Safety and Health Legislation" (abbreviated to OSHA) and can be found within 29 CFR 1910. 136. The OSHA sometimes makes it law that steel-toe boots are certified as safety boots for hazardous job environments and that the certification should be displayed on each pair of said boots to make it obvious to those purchasing them that they are indeed "safety-certified." In Canada this is the case. Each pair of certified safety boots has clearly displayed on them a "Canadian Standards Association" green triangle symbol on them