When Should You Replace Your Safety Footwear?
Safety footwear plays an important role in our workday. Without the proper protective footwear, you are at risk for serious injuries to your feet. You may think a broken toe or small electrical shock to the soles of your feet won’t sideline you but unfortunately, it will. You need to pay attention to your footwear and look for signs that it’s time for a replacement. If you notice any of the following, get new shoes:
Function and form
The goal of protective footwear is to protect. If your footwear is failing to do so, it’s time for a new pair. Footwear doesn’t last forever. If you start slipping or notice that the soles are wearing thin, you need new shoes. Furthermore, look at the treads at the bottom of the shoes. The material will rub down after much wear and tear. If you see that the treads are now smooth, new shoes are in your future. Also, inspect the metatarsal guards and toes of your shoes. If you can see the steel or metal toe peeking through you need to get rid of this pair ASAP. Finally, inspect the leather and see if it’s separating from the rubber or pvc parts of the shoes. The area on the shoes where the materials meet should be sturdy. If it’s coming apart, go shoe shopping.
Comfort and range
Most work footwear is designed to handle 1,500 km of average usage. This translates to roughly one year of wear. However, if you are constantly on your feet and moving around, you may need to replace your workwear sooner than 12 months. Moreover, if your feet are hurting you after a day’s work, you may need a new pair of shoes or an insole. Remember that you can’t use any old insole you get at the drugstore. You’ll need special insoles that are compatible with safety footwear.
Damage and hazards
Damage means new shoes. If something falls on your work boots or they incur a puncture, your safety footwear needs to be replaced. Additionally, if hazardous materials or chemicals come into contact with your footwear, you will need to replace them. However, most companies that have workers handling hazardous chemicals or materials will provide their employees with special coverings for their safety shoes.
Safety footwear can mean the difference between a job well done or a broken toe. For the most part, go with your gut. If you think your work footwear needs to be replaced, don’t wait. Replace your boots immediately otherwise you could risk injuries on the job.