How to Avoid a Foot Injury in the Workplace

The average cost of a lost workday due to a foot injury is $9,600

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 60,000-foot injuries are responsible for keeping people from work each year. Of those injuries, 75% of those cases involved workers, not in compliance with current safety regulations. On average, these injuries can cause up to 5 lost workdays and can cost up to $600 million in lost production. Some of the most common injuries include broken toes and feet, puncture wounds, cuts, severed toes, burns, electric shocks, and sprains or fractures. Safety footwear and training is essential in order to keep your worker’s feet protected. Here are tips on how to protect your employees’ feet:

  1. Make sure you meet OSHA’s industry standard.

By OSHA’s standards, all employers must ensure that employees use protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to: falling or rolling objects piercing the sole, static-discharge, or electric-shock hazards. Employers need to be able to provide this without any additional cost to their employees. It is also important for employers to make sure their footwear meet and pass the ASTM F2412-11, Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection.

  1. Use the right protective footwear for the job.

Not all protective footwear is the same. It’s just as if not more important that you pick the right protective footwear for your industry and according to your work environment.Protective footwear can include:

  • Safety-toed shoes-used in the factory and mill industries.
  • Steel insole shoes-for employees, who drive heavy trucks, ride bikes or push pedals.
  • Metal Instep footwear-used to protect the feet from sharp objects like nails, glass pieces etc.
  • Metatarsal Shoes– used to protect shoes from heavy equipment falling or “drop hazards.”
  • Electric Hazard Shoes– for employees who work with electricity, circuits, and wiring, and high voltage machines.

Make sure that you have a proper understanding of your work environment and that you are aware of the type of footwear your employees need.

  1. Make sure your employees are properly trained.

It is mandated by OSHA that all employees should have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) training for the foot. PPE training for the foot should include:

  • How to identify common workplace hazards regarding foot injuries.
  • Know the common types PPE for the foot.
  • How to take care of PPE for the foot.
  • Know the proper fit for PPE for the foot.
  • Understand the value of PPE for the foot.

Taking the extra steps to ensure that your protective footwear meets OSHA’s standards, is functional for your job field and your employees are properly trained, helps protect your employee’s feet and keeps productivity high for your business. You might also like Personal Protective Equipment: Be Safe Not Sorry and Understanding the 4 Most Common Musculoskeletal Disorders

At Nova Medical Centers we specialize in Occupational Health. From our outstanding services to our convenient electronic systems, we provide the best care for employees who need our help. We pride ourselves on helping others.  If you happen to get injured on the job or contract any illnesses, just stop by one of our clinics. We have over 48 facilities across Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana and we are constantly striving to provide the best care for America’s workforce.  Feel free to contact Nova Medical Centers with any questions or comments that you may have.

Written by Elinah Odewale