Excuses, excuses. There are lots of excuses for not using protective footwear, but they all sound feeble compared to a foot injury.
“They hurt my feet.”
But they don’t hurt your feet nearly as much as, say, a 45-gallon drum. If the safety shoes are uncomfortable, it probably means they don’t fit right. Take the time to get a proper fit. If the toe cap presses against your toes, try a different style or a half-size larger. A cushioned insole might add comfort as well.
“In safety boots, I can’t feel what’s under my feet.”
Fortunately, in safety boots you can’t feel such things as sharp metal debris on the floor. But there are flexible shoes available for jobs such as driving or climbing.
But so is a smashed foot. Safety footwear is available in popular fashion brands. And you can find a variety of styles such as running shoes, cowboy boots, hunting boots, hiking boots, Oxfords, loafers and women’s pumps suitable for certain jobs.
“They’re big and clumsy.”
Well, so is a cast on your foot. Today’s safety shoes are made of lightweight materials and most weigh just a few ounces more than regular footwear.
“They’re too hot.”
What is not so hot is a few months off work because of a foot injury. If your safety shoes are making your feet hot and sweaty, maybe you should buy leather – which breathes – rather than manmade materials. Insoles can also improve ventilation.
“They’re too cold.”
The cold facts are that protection provided by ordinary footwear is inadequate. Insulated safety shoes and socks are available to protect your feet from cold and frostbite. If the shoes are made properly, a lining will separate your feet from the chilly metal toe cap.
“They’re too expensive.”
Wheelchairs and crutches are expensive too. Safety footwear does cost more than regular shoes and boots, but it’s certainly worth it.
“I can’t find a pair in my size.”
Keep looking. Various manufacturers make a variety of sizes.
“In my job, nothing can fall on my feet.”
Don’t count on it. Even office workers can receive crushing foot injuries. Besides, safety footwear is made to protect against many other dangers to the feet and the whole body.
“There are so many kinds to choose from.”
Different hazards need different shoes. Find out from your supervisor exactly what you need. Different designs and materials are available to protect against dangers such as chemicals and oils, sparks or molten metal, heat and moisture, and even fatigue.
“I don’t care about protecting my feet.”
Safety shoes do more than that. Some protect the whole body, from dangers such as slips and falls, electrical shock or explosions caused by sparking or static electricity, and disease-carrying wastes.
“Well…at least I don’t have to use safety footwear off the job.”
Why not? Your tender toes face many threats even off the job, from lawnmowers to livestock, from chainsaws to falling rocks. Non-slip shoes will even make your own kitchen a safer place to work. And non-conductive shoes make it safer to use workshop power tools.
A worker handling power cable on a portable reel has all his toes today, thanks to his safety footwear.
While he was turning the reel by hand, his right foot became wedged between the reel itself and the base of the reel. The nail on his big toe was cut off.
If it hadn’t been for his steel-toed safety shoes, he could have lost his entire toe.