As an employer, you should have safety measures in place to ensure that your employees, customers and anyone else who visits your premises are not exposed to danger. Some of the safety measures that employers should consider include providing safety training for workers, investing in safety tools and equipment, using signs to warn of danger, eliminating recognised hazards, and ensuring employees wear safety gear. By doing so, you can avoid workplace injuries, loss of revenue, a bad reputation, and lawsuits. This article explores some of the key factors every employer needs to know about safety shoes.
Safety Shoes Come In Different Ratings
The first point to note is that safety shoes have different classifications. The ratings are based on the nature of the hazard they offer protection against or the environment they are suited for. The basic requirement for safety footwear for the workplace is a 200J toecap. SB is the rating mark for this specification. Most online stores dealing with safety shoes UK such as engelbert strauss have an in-depth understanding of these ratings and this makes shopping easy. Here you can find a range of safety shoes, each marked with its rating.
From this page displaying their safety shoes, you will notice that there is an S1, S2, S3, S4, S1P or S5 marking for each pair. These ratings are used to show the safety levels and further information is provided under the product description of each. engelbert strauss is a family run company that specializes in occupational safety, safety shoes, workwear, and accessories.
Other abbreviations for safety footwear include P for penetrative resistance, E for energy absorbing seat region, HI for insulating against heat, C for conductive, A for antistatic, CI for insulating against cold, HRO for outsole resistant to hot contact, and WRU for upper resistant to water penetration.
Safety Shoes Fall Under Personal Protection Equipment
These are items such as gloves, helmets, shoes, and clothing that are meant to keep workers safe where there is a risk. Personal protection equipment (PPE) is a must-have in areas where the risks can’t be controlled in any other way. According to the Health and Safety Executive, you should evaluate the hazards present in your workplace to determine which PPE is necessary.
Who Should Wear Safety Shoes?
Safety shoes are only essential where the worker’s feet are at risk of injury. For instance, if you are a manufacturing company, you will require safety shoes for the machine operators but not for your HR staff. The shoes should be worn only where there is a hazard. The Health and Safety Executive identifies the key hazards for feet and legs as cuts and punctures, slipping, falling objects, wet, electrostatic build up, abrasion, and chemical splash. Therefore, you will require safety footwear if your job entails heavy and sharp objects that can harm the feet, electrical hazards, corrosive and poisonous materials, and slippery surfaces among others.
It Is Your Duty As The Employer To Provide PPE
Sometimes there can be conflict on who will bear the cost of the personal protective equipment provided to employees. Should it be the employer or the employee? According to a response on the FAQ section of the Health and Safety Executive, this should be the responsibility of the employer. On their response, the Health and Safety Executive quotes Regulation 4 of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, which requires employers to provide suitable PPE to employees exposed to a risk that can harm their health or safety. The response further quotes the Health and Safety at Work Act to show that employers should not charge employees for the provision of PPE that is used for work purposes only. Therefore, where the employees’ legs and feet are at risk, it is your responsibility as the employer to provided safety footwear, except in cases where you have other measures in place to eliminate this risk.
Selecting Safety Footwear
As stated above, safety shoes have different ratings and each is designed to work in a specific environment. Therefore, before you buy safety shoes, you have to conduct a risk assessment of the hazards in your business. A shoe designed for workers in environment A may not be suitable for workers in environment B. Also, don’t provide your employees with ill-fitting shoes. If the toes can’t wiggle freely, the shoes will be another hazard.
With the right safety shoes, you will eliminate workplace feet injuries such as cuts, broken bones, and burns. For some fields, wearing safety shoes provides extra comfort and support. This allows workers to perform difficult tasks or stand for long hours without getting fatigued or straining their muscles. This boosts the productivity of your employees. Additionally, when workers know they are protected by their employers, they become more devoted to the company compared to when you ignore their needs.