Are you aware of the safety shoe requirements OSHA has set?
If not, then do not leave this site as we will help you understand about the safety shoes that are necessary for the hazardous workplace!
We have categorically presented all the knowledge that you need to know about OSHA regulations. You need to understand so much before you figure out what type of safety shoes that OSHA intends workers to wear.
OSHA: What It Brings For You?
OSHA, the abbreviated version of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a unit of the Labor Department of the United States. It oversees the safety quotient of all the workplaces and introduces safety standards that the employers have to follow, which enables the employees to be safe in perilous situations.
OSHA has made PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) mandatory for employees in a certain situation where the employers cannot save them. Safety footwear falls under the PPE, and there are certain standards that you will have to know before you buy them.
Confused What Standards? Take A Look:
There is some standard that OSHA has made to ensure that the employees' safety gets upheld by the employers.
OSHA standard 1910.136(a) makes it mandatory for employers to make sure that their employees wear protective footwear while working in an environment where they can get foot injuries from rolling or falling objects, objects that can pierce the sole of the shoe, and situations where the feet get exposed to an electrical hazard.
OSHA standard 1910.136(b) (1) mentions the protective footwear must follow one of the standards:
ASTM F2413-2005 allows at least a rating of 50 for impact resistance and a minimum rating of 50 for compression resistance.
ANSI Z41-1999 or Z41-1991 is rules set for the performance of the shoes. However, in 2005 these standards were scrapped, and ASTM standards were implemented in its place.
So, What Are Understood As Protective Shoes?
ASTM also is known as the American Society for Testing and Material elaborately, is a non-profit organization and not part of any other organization that provides certain standards that OSHA has deemed fit to incorporate in their standard. According to the standards set by OSHA, any protective footwear must have the following aspects-
Set Labeling- the protective footwear must get labeled by following a selected format.
Standard Testing- The protective shoes have to pass some basic tests in any laboratory just to ensure that they are meeting the requirements set for physical performance.
Requirements for Performance- These are specifications like the total amount of pressure or weight that the shoe needs to protect its wearer from or whether it resists compression.
Let’s Dive In And Check With OSHA Safety Shoe Performances-
The dangers experienced at a workplace are unique to that specific workplace. OSHA standard 1910.132 (d) (1), mentions that the employer has to access the situation in their workplace to determine whether the situation is perilous enough to warrant the use of PPE. The employer has to make sure that the PPE fits individual employees properly.
According to the OSHA, which follows the ASTM standard, a protective shoe needs to protect from the following things.
1. Conduction Rating (CR) - It states that the shoe should be able to resist the increase of static charge as failing to do so will prove dangerous, especially in places that have explosive chemicals.
2. Impact (I) - It is a standard that exists to make sure that the shoe keeps the foot protected, albeit some falling objects of various weight onto the shoe.
3. Electric Hazard (EH) - It helps to identify the ability of the shoe to give security to the wearer against electric shocks.
4. Compression (C) - It ensures that the shoe will keep the feet safe from slow and crushing weight much like the running of a vehicle over one's foot.
5. Puncture Resistant (PR) - This standard exists to make sure that the shoes are safe to wear around sharp objects that have to ability to pierce the footwear and harm the wearer’s foot.
6. Metatarsal (MT) - It ensures that the upper part of the metatarsal of your foot is secure.
7. Static Dissipative- Abbreviated SD this helps to check that the shoes have to ability to transfer the static electricity from the shoes into the surface through its sole.
Accidents Not Covered Under OSHA-
OSHA has created standards thinking of certain kinds of hazards, but some hazards do not get recognized by the organization. Just because they are not recognized that does not mean that accidents do not happen. So make sure that the shoes give you protection from the following problems.
1. Slipping Problem- Slipping on a slippery surface is far too common in many workplaces. So make sure that the shoes you wear have great traction and can protect you from having a fall.
2. Infection Free- Wearing work shoes for a long time makes it easier to develop foot infection. Generally, the toe area is particularly susceptible to getting infected. Shoes that can reduce the chances of foot infection should be your choice.
3. Protecting Ankles- The surface on which you walk has everything to do with this point. If your work makes you walk on uneven surfaces, you will need footwear that protects your ankles thus providing you more stability to walk.
4. Protection from Chemical- The shoe must have the ability to protect the feet from chemical substances. Generally, the employer has to provide employees with protective shoes.
Who Pays for the Protective Footwear?
OSHA standard 1910.132 (h) (2) states- employers do not need to pay for non-specialty- safety-toe footwear meant for protecting the feet if the employer agrees that the employees can wear it outside of work. Types of non-specialty footwear are steel-toe shoes and boots.
Safety toe footwear must be worn at all times to protect against hazards and must fulfill have features like oil resistance, leather uppers, and non-skid soles. It must have an impact-resistant score of 75 and a CR score of 75. Even if the shoes follow this ASTM F2413-05 standard the employer is not liable to buy the shoes for the employees.
But if the employers judge that the employees have the risk of getting electrocuted from the wires lying around the site, then they will have to buy the protective shoes for the employees. So your employer has to buy you proper protective shoes that can save you from getting electrocuted.
Ways to Read the Label
Shoes that clear the OSHA standards get labeled in a certain way and we intend on telling you how to read the labels to see whether the boots have passed the test.
The first line of the label will read ASTM F2413, which means that the shoes meet the standard and is therefore ideal for use.
The second line will contain either the letter M or F, which will tell you whether the shoe is for men or women. In this line, you will also get the Impact, Compression and Metatarsal ratings for the shoes.
The third line will provide information regarding PR and SD. If these are present, then you can buy the shoes feeling relieved that it will protect objects that can prick and can dissipate static.
The Guidelines of OSHA
OSHA has recognized that the workplace is filled with hazardous conditions and also knows that all workplaces do not have the same threat level. Just to judge how high the threat level for the workers is OSHA has asked the employers to take the responsibility of judging the situation and taking preventive measures against it.
By preventive measures, the employers have to use the OSHA recommended PPE that will help the employees to avoid injuries that can have a debilitating effect on them. Although the employers are not required to pay for certain protective footwear, they are, however, responsible for checking that the equipment that the employees are wearing can save them from the dangers of the job.
They have to make sure that other protective equipment are a perfect fit for the employees as a size too big can make them vulnerable to getting hurt at the job. It will be also their job to train the employees not to take their safety for granted and teach them how to access the situation at work to see whether it poses any danger.
Remember that steel-toe shoes, though required for many industries, are not given by the employers. If you have to buy the boots on your own then check the article and find out what is the regulation for such boots. We have given you an idea of what boots are supposed to do and how to check the label to find out that the boots are meeting the situation or not.
You can discuss with your employer before you buy the boots about the functions of the boots if you cannot judge the situation on your own. Even if you can, you should ask them to check as they are responsible for your well-being while you work for them.