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How to choose PPE for foot protection?

Why should you choose PPE for foot protection?

Construction worker wearing ppe for foot protection

Industrial safety should be considered of high regard. Every industry takes care of the safety and hygiene of its employees as well as the workplace as it is important from a monetary as well as health aspect. Industries are quite self-aware about the hazards that can turn into accidents because of a small negligent behavior. Industries take necessary preventive measures as well as precautions to avoid these hazards. What happens if these hazards turn into accidents? 

Industrial accidents and mishaps can seriously injure and even be life-threatening in a few cases. For preventing grave serious injuries, industries train their employees to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In previous articles, we have discussed PPE for different body organs. In this article, we will be discussing PPE for foot protection. Let’s begin without any further ado.

Why Do We Need PPE For Foot protection?

Workplace Hazards

Industries often carry out several processes and operations at a large scale for maximizing their production. This may involve the use of heavy and tough machinery, tools, and equipment. Even a few operations and processes are carried out at high temperatures and pressures. A few industrial workplaces may have a slippery surface, and employees need to have footwear accordingly. Hence, PPE for foot protection is of utmost need for the employees and varies from one industry to another. 

Construction workers wearing PPE for foot protection

Many operations like grinding, drilling, crushing, welding, metal & wood cutting, chemical mixing & agitation, and many other processes are performed by various industries. These industries include chemical manufacturing, fertilizer & pesticide, nuclear, research, healthcare, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, mining & metallurgy, and many other industries. These industries have a high risk of leg and feet injuries due to the operations they perform. 

Foot protection PPE differs from one industry to another based on the protection they need to provide against different elements. These elements are heat, pressure, abrasion, sharp objects, heavy objects, sparks, electricity, chemicals, pathogens, laser, harmful rays, small flying metal (or wooden) chips, and many more. 

Find out more on the role of PPE.

Why should an employer worry about PPE for foot protection?

Human feet are essential for survival. If by any chance, an employee hurts his legs, then it directly affects his movements, which can hamper their work efficiency. In worst cases, if there is an amputation required, the employee may lose their working capabilities due to restricted movement. This situation is worst for the employee as well as the employer. For the employee, the lack of movement may mean that they may be unfit for various professions. This reduces the chances of their employment.

Construction worker wearing PPE for foot protection

For an employer, it surely disturbs the work efficiency of the employee. Moreover, it may also create doubt about the safety measures taken by the employer, apart from the physical and mental trauma the employee has to go through. No employer would allow this to happen. Apart from these issues, the employer would have to deal with the worker’s comp for the injured employee. The worker’s comp differs from one area to another.

Apart from the mandatory rules and regulations, if an employer takes extra care and efforts for employee’s safety, then this surely reflects in their working efficiency. Any mishap that results in damage to the employees due to the negligence of the employer has severe penalties. Lack of PPE provision, training, and awareness comes under negligent behavior by the employer. 

An employer must provide necessary training and awareness related to PPE. Apart from this, an employer must ensure that the employees are using their PPE properly in different situations of industrial hazards. So, provision and training related to PPE is not only essential but also beneficial to the employer as well as the employees.

Interested ones can check out our blog on PPE for face protection.

Why is it better to wear PPE for foot protection?

In many developed nations like the US, labor laws are fairly strict. Moreover, the necessary industrial safety parameters laid down by OSHA & NIOSH must be mandatorily followed. Other nations also have certain safety parameters laid down by their government regulators. More or less, in all these safety parameters, PPE is highly recommended, and in some cases made compulsory. 

Construction worker wearing PPE for foot protection

Proper training and awareness related to PPE for foot protection is a must. This allows the employees to have a clear idea about which foot protection PPE they must use along with the proper procedure of donning and doffing the PPE. This allows the employees to safeguard their feet from industrial hazards. Wearing appropriate PPE for foot protection against the industrial elements ensures a safer workplace. For example, an employee doesn’t really require to wear high-temperature resistant footwear while working at room temperatures. 

Industrial research has pointed out a fact that around 5 out of a thousand industrial employees suffer a foot injury. Most cases are due to a lack of awareness about PPE for foot protection or negligent behavior from the employer. This situation is considered to be much worse in under-developed nations. 

Find out more on safety footwear regulations.

What Are The Different Kinds Of PPE For Foot protection? 

As previously mentioned in the article, different industrial elements can cause foot injuries. So, there are different types of foot protection PPE available accordingly. Let’s look at a few PPE for foot protection in detail,

  • Hard Steel-toed Boots

  • They are widely used by mining, construction, and metallurgy industry employees for the protection of toes from heavy objects.

  • Dielectric Boots

  • These foot protection PPE are widely used by employees to protect against electricity. There are different types of dielectric boots depending upon the extent of safety required often measured in voltage. 

    Neoprene PPE for foot protection
  • Neoprene Boots

  • Neoprene boots are used for protection against hazardous acids and chemicals. These foot protection PPE are widely used by chemical, fertilizer, and other related industry employees.

    Woman wearing disposable shoe covers
  • Disposable Shoe Covers

  • Disposable Shoe covers are used in the research and the healthcare industry for tackling the spread of pathogens. They are one-time-use and disposed of right after they have served their purpose.

    Other types of face protection PPE that are commonly used are rubber boots, metatarsal guards, polyurethane boots, PVC boots, and many more.

    How And When Do We Use PPE for Foot protection?

    Usually, PPE for foot protection is used wherever there is the possibility of any damage. The damage can affect the feet directly or the body as a whole. For example, steel-toed boots are used for the protection of toes, while slip-resistant boots are used to avoid any fall due to the slippery surface. Now, the type of foot protection PPE that must be used depends upon the severity and the type of the industrial element against which protection is required. Donning PPE for feet protection is quite easy, and in many cases may not require additional training.

    Find out more on the hazards affecting foot safety.

    PPE for foot protection


    Industries are a hub of many risky processes and operations that are dangerous. As a part of precaution, employees don PPE. As many industrial elements can cause harm, there are many types of PPE for foot protection based on the design, type, and protection against the different kinds of hazards.