#48 Foot Protection

Just as important to us as our hands, our feet provide us with balance and support for our bodies and enable us to walk, run, drive, operate machinery, play sports and so on.


Cal/OSHA requires appropriate foot protection for employees exposed to foot injuries, such as hot surfaces, injurious substances, falling objects, crushing or penetrating actions or who are required to work in abnormally wet locations. The administration further stipulates that footwear which is defective or inappropriate to the extent that its ordinary use creates the possibility of foot injuries shall not be worn. As far as safety-toe footwear is concerned, Cal/OSHA requires that such footwear shall meet the requirements and specifications in ANSI Z41.1-1967.


Rough, uneven surfaces with the constant danger of protruding, sharp nails and other razor edged debris, reminds us of the reasons why the construction industry is designated a high hazard industry. The terrain is constantly changing as one phase of the development is completed and another commenced. Most professional construction workers do not have to be reminded of the dangers to the feet and ankles that are so frequently encountered – the large majority of jobsite workers equip themselves with suitable footwear. Modern safety footwear styles can also look just like regular high-tops so, for the fashion conscious; there is no need to compromise on appearance either.


A survey of injuries among construction trades including carpenters, electricians, painters, drywall installers, brickmasons, concrete finishers, insulation workers, sheetmetal duct installers, roofers, plumbers, and pipefitters, revealed that 22% of all injuries reported affected the lower extremities which includes legs, knees, ankles, feet and toes. Only the trunk/back and upper extremities, including hands, wrists, and fingers ranked higher. This seems like the best reason of all to use safety footwear.