Protective Shoes and Safe Footwear: What You Should Be Wearing at Your Job
Every type of job, whether you are a corporate executive, retail sales associate, construction contractor, doctor, nurse, or food service worker, has its own types of required workwear and footwear. The type of footwear your employees should be wearing is largely based on the types of hazards found in the workplace.
From protective shoe covers to special types of protective shoes, let’s take a look at what may be required for your particular industry.
Construction workers need shoes that can address a wide range of working conditions. They can be required to walk over uneven surfaces and work in rain and snow. Some job sites may also expose them to certain chemicals and other such hazards.
Ideally, you want to choose a comfortable and high-quality work boot which offers ankle support and puncture resistance and has steel toe reinforcement. Additionally, you may need boots that are waterproof, chemical-resistant, and electrical-resistant.
HVAC Technicians, Electricians, and Plumbers
Just like construction workers, these types of careers can have a wide range of workplace hazards. Some of the more common ones include electrical, water, and refrigerant/cooling chemicals. Footwear should incorporate the right mix of features to address each potential hazard while at the same time offer ankle support and comfort.
Restaurant and Food Service Workers
Restaurant and food service workers want to find work shoes that are comfortable, fit with the business’s dress code, and offer slip resistance, as floors can get greasy and slippery. In addition, shoes should never be open-toed, as the entire foot needs to be protected. Quite often, most styles of athletic shoes in a solid color like black are acceptable since they are comfortable and provide anti-slip gripping.
Hospitals and Healthcare Employees
Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals need shoes that are comfortable since they can be on their feet for hours. Most doctors and nurses find different styles of athletic footwear appropriate for protecting their feet and keeping them from hurting. In addition, in certain settings like surgery rooms, protective shoe covers will be required to keep these locations as sterile as possible.
There can be a wide range of different types of footwear found in pharmaceutical operations. In cleanroom environments, the use of cleanroom boots and shoe covers is very common. On non-cleanroom manufacturing floors, work boots with the appropriate safety protections can be found. In other areas, athletic wear of a solid color can be accepted footwear. In administrative areas, various types of casual and dress shoes are acceptable.
Since there is a wide range of footwear options in this industry, it is important to make sure employees understand what type of footwear is required for each location within the facility. Furthermore, they should never enter into other work locations without the appropriate footwear.
Office and Corporate Environments
For this type of working environment, some type of formal or business casual dress shoe is often the standard. Women are normally allowed to wear high heels. However, wearing open-toed shoes, athletic shoes, or sandals is often not appropriate or allowed.
As you can see, there are all sorts of different footwear required for different types of industries and jobs. It is your responsibility to verify that your employees know what type of footwear is necessary for their job, as well as to check OSHA and other regulatory requirements when applicable.