Weekly Safety Meeting – Foot Protection Safety

Foot Protection Safety

Foot protection is guarding your toes, ankles and feet from injury. Believe it or not, your feet have 26 bones for support and 38 joints for movement — in each foot. Feet also have blood vessels, ligaments, muscles and nerves, which is why it hurts when you stub your toe or drop something on your foot. Your feet are a critical part of your body that you use everyday and, in some cases, enable you to do your job effectively.

There are two major categories of work-related foot injuries. The first category includes foot injuries from punctures, crushing, sprains, and lacerations. They account for 10 percent of all reported disabling injuries. The second group of injuries includes those resulting from slips, trips, and falls. They account for 15 percent of all reported disabling injuries. Slips and falls do not always result in a foot injury but lack of attention to foot safety plays an important role in their occurrence.

OSHA Requirements:

The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, or when the use of protective footwear will protect the affected employee from an electrical hazard, such as a static-discharge or electric-shock hazard, that remains after the employer takes other necessary protective measures.

Must meet; ASTM F-2412-2005, “Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection,” and ASTM F- 2413-2005, “Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective Footwear,”

Potential Hazards:

Workers may be exposed to injuries including:

  • Crushing from falling objects;

  • Crushing from rolling cylinders;

  • Punctures from sharp objects;

  • Burns or shocks from electrical hazards;

  • Burns from molten metal or hot surfaces;

  • Skin contact or burns from chemicals; and

  • Slips and falls from wet or slippery surfaces.

Buying footwear:

Good footwear should have the following qualities:

  • The inner side of the shoe must be straight from the heel to the end of the big toe.
  • The shoe must grip the heel firmly.

  • The forepart must allow freedom of movement for the toes.

  • The shoe must have a fastening across the instep to prevent the foot from slipping when walking.

  • The shoe must have a low, wide-based heel; flat shoes are recommended.

  • Do not expect that footwear that is too tight will stretch with wear.

  • Have both feet measured when buying shoes. Feet normally differ in size.

  • Buy shoes to fit the bigger foot and buy them late in the afternoon when feet are likely to be swollen to their maximum size.

  • Consider purchasing shock-absorbing insoles when a job requires walking or standing on hard floors.

Footwear care:

  • Apply a protective coating to make footwear water-resistant.

  • Inspect footwear regularly for damage.

  • Repair or replace worn or defective footwear.

Caring for your feet:

Feet are subject to a great variety of skin and toenail disorders. Workers can avoid many of them by following simple rules of foot care:

  • Wash feet daily with soap, rinse thoroughly and dry, especially between the toes.

  • Trim toenails straight across and not too short. Do not cut into the corners.

  • Wear clean socks or stockings, and change them daily.


Protective footwear worn in the workplace is designed to protect the foot from physical hazards such as falling objects, stepping on sharp objects, heat and cold, wet and slippery surfaces, and exposure to corrosive chemicals. As a worker, you should know the risks in your workplace and when selecting footwear, consider the safety hazards in your work area. This will help you select the right protective footwear

Keep safety in mind…It will save your behind!! 



Download flyer: SMOTW_424_FootProtectionSafety.pdf (114.93 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_424_FootProtectionSafety_esp.pdf (116.39 kb)

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