The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that specific industries require their workers to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) while they are on the job. Footwear is one form of PPE that OSHA requires, but there are a few different types. In this guide, you will learn which kinds of footwear are considered PPE.
For those who don’t know, footwear with reinforced toe protection is called safety-toe footwear. If you work on a construction site, you might want to wear safety toe work boots on the job to protect your feet from heavy objects or falling debris.
Manufacturers will primarily make their boots from three materials: metal alloy, steel, or composite. All these types of boots offer protection for your feet, but their differences lie in how durable each type is, the cost of each one, and how comfortable they are.
If you need heavy-duty footwear to keep you stable while operating heavy machinery, then look no further than steel-soled footwear. Manufacturers make this type of footwear by pressing the sole with a steel plate.
This type of footwear is difficult to bend, so running in them can be a challenge. For this reason, workers mostly wear these types of boots when they are sitting. Nonetheless, if you are operating a crane, truck, or bulldozer, this footwear can help you stabilize yourself and prevent an injury on the job.
Shoe companies design metatarsal footwear to protect the metatarsal bones in your feet. This type of footwear typically comes from steel, aluminum, or other synthetic materials. Metatarsal footwear is a popular form of PPE for the metal industry because it protects feet from molten metals, embers, and heavy objects.
Metal Instep Footwear
Finally, we have metal instep footwear, which is similar to steel-soled footwear, except the instep gets reinforced by a metal plate. Boots with a metal instep are heavier than other types of PPE, but they can also protect against sharp materials such as nails, tiles, broken glass, or pieces of brick.
Overall, PPE should protect your whole body, especially your feet. Now that you know which kinds of footwear are considered PPE, go ahead and purchase some so that you can stay safe while you work.