The Clean Boot Blog

Work Safe, Work Clean – The importance of maintaining OSHA required footwear on jobs

Let’s admit it, you can conquer the world in the right pair of shoes. Equipping your workers with a protective pair of work boots/shoes can not only prevent them from foot injuries but it also enhances their productivity and lengthens their working hours.

To comply with federal laws practiced by OSHA, it’s now mandatory for industrial organizations to provide their employees with a pair of protective shoes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has enforced numerous rules and regulations related to safety measures that incorporate the prevention of foot, ankle or knee injuries in the workplace. The regulations have been applied under CFR 1910.136 (Section 29).


According to this law, it’s compulsory for workers to determine that each worker is using protective shoes, particularly in high-risk areas where several types of foot injuries could occur. Moreover, workers are also required to use such footwear in regions where electrical hazards are present.

OSHA recommends that specialized protective footwear should be used in:

  • Lethal or caustic materials
  • Electricity shocks or other electricity-related problems
  • Regions affected by static electricity
  • Places with heavy objects
  • Razor-sharp objects that can harm your foot
  • Melted metal that can cause severe burns
  • Slick or unstable surfaces

The Importance of Maintaining OSHA Required Footwear on Jobs

Failure to comply with OSHA standards may bring on warnings and penalties. The only way to avoid such fines is to strictly adhere to OSHA-provided guidelines.

Noticeably, the authority isn’t enforcing these regulations on all types of companies. They are pursuing those who are not considering the importance of protective footwear for their workers. OSHA’s approach to demonstrating the significance of protective shoes is also very unique. They are giving comparative examples of how a firm can save hospitalization charges or insurance reimbursements by just investing in the right pair of shoes/boots for their employees.

The importance of using preventive footwear is evident from the following points:

Shoes Safety

It Protects From Heavy Objects

Places, where man and machine are working at the same time, can cause severe foot or toe injuries. Steel toe boots can be a good option to safeguard feet from crushing injuries.

Protects from Pointed Objects

As protective shoes come with heavy soles, they provide incredible support and protection against sharp objects. These pointed objects are generally found at construction sites and a simple, conventional soft sole is definitely not enough to provide protection.

Protects from Slips and Falls

Slick and slippery surfaces can also cause severe workplace accidents. Ideally, businesses should follow proper housekeeping guidelines to protect its workers from serious injuries. Proper footwear can also be used as one of the measures to prevent such problems. Shoes with suitable traction can prevent slips and trips and therefore should be used by workers who work on wet or slippery floors.

Prevents Burns and Fatigue

Generally, workers are required to be on their feet all the time. This may result in muscle pain, tiredness, and fatigue. Footwear that comes with padded support results in comfort, reduces pain and alleviates muscle strain.

Moreover, protective footwear can also prevent workers from chemical burns, melted metal or other harmful substances.

Protection from Harsh Weather

Extreme weather conditions can trigger numerous foot injuries including frostbite and Raynaud’s syndrome. Workers who work in wet, damp or cold environments are usually at high risk. Since protective footwear is waterproof in nature, it provides enough protection against harsh weather conditions.


According to OSHA CFR 1910.136(a),

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.”

As you can clearly see, the right pair of shoes/boots can protect your workers from many disastrous problems. Complying with OSHA regulations can make your workers comfortable and safe. It will help them focus more on their tasks and will eventually result in increased productivity and output for your business.

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