Finding the right shoes for work is an important task everyone goes through when looking to buy a new pair of shoes. Your footwear plays a significant role in keeping you safe while you work. You might not realise how important your shoes are, but because you have to wear them every day, they are very important – and choosing the right shoes can help reduce accidents in the workplace.
Injuries at work caused by slips and falls are very common. According to a study analysis by International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, 79.52% of the injured workers were in the 40-59 age groups; 57.14% of accidents occurred during the first shift; and 73.26% of accidents caused injury to hands, feet, chest to thigh, arms and eyes. Among them, 18.81% have suffered foot injuries. These injuries can be avoided by wearing cushioned and supportive footwear.
Importance of foot comfort
There are two major categories of work-related foot injuries. The first category includes foot injuries from punctures, crushing, sprains, and lacerations. The second group of injuries includes those resulting from slips, trips and falls. 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.
These two categories of foot injuries, however, do not exhaust the whole range of foot problems at work. There are other conditions such as calluses, ingrown toenails or simply tired feet that are common among workers. Though these may not be considered as occupational injuries in the strictest sense, they can have serious consequences for health and safety at the workplace. They cause discomfort, pain and fatigue. Fatigue sets up the worker for further injuries, affecting the muscles and joints. Also, a worker who is tired and suffering pain is less alert and more likely to act unsafely. An accident or incident of any kind may result.
Foot problems & causes
Some foot problems are so common that they can occur in virtually any workplace and under any working conditions.
Severely aching feet, blisters, calluses, corns, rheumatism, arthritis, malformations of toes, fallen arches (flat feet), bunions and sprains can be caused because of long periods of standing, hard flooring, and poorly fitted footwear.
Poorly fitted footwear includes:
- High heels
- Pointed shoes
- Lack of arch support
- Footwear that is too loose or too tight.
Sweaty feet and fungal infections (athlete’s foot) can be caused by a hot and humid environment. The other reasons are strenuous work and footwear with synthetic (non-porous) uppers. There are no comprehensive statistics on these kinds of problems with feet. Surveys suggest that 2 out of every 3 workers suffer from some form of a foot problem.
…………(Read the full article in the February Issue of Safety Messenger 2016)