Workplace Solutions Foot protection

Understanding work boot safety standards

How important is it for boot safety standards to match federal and state requirements?

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Photo: Justin Original Workboot

Responding is Josh Lizotte, divisional vice president of sales, Justin Original Workboots, Fort Worth, TX.

When it comes to choosing work boots, it’s imperative that you find a boot that meets the applicable federal and state safety standards. Selecting a pair of work boots that follows these safety standards can make a significant difference in injury prevention while also offering peace of mind – not to mention meeting compliance requirements for your job.

When employees work with the reassurance of protection against injury, their productivity and satisfaction with the workplace can increase greatly. A safe workplace should be a top priority for any employer. It is essential to take every measure possible to ensure protective footwear worn by employees complies with the appropriate safety standards for their line of work.

Federal and state safety standards are vital safeguards that cannot be overlooked. Although many footwear companies claim to meet the requirements, it’s important to be informed on what your state’s safety standards dictate. Before your next work boot purchase, review the safety standards and methods for your line of work. When searching for the safety footwear specific to your application, look for informational tags attached to the boot, labels stamped on the boot and the company’s website for more details to ensure they meet those requirements. Taking that extra step to make certain that the features and benefits of your work boots have been properly manufactured to meet the safety requirements can make all the difference.

Consumers and employers should have confidence when investing in safety footwear. Look for a boot brand that has been in the industry for a long time. Those companies have tried and tested methods for ensuring the boot meets safety standards. Brands with a long history in the work boot industry understand both federal and state needs, as well as that of the customer. They take the guesswork out of purchasing safety footwear by manufacturing work boots that not only meet but exceed the safety standards required. The leading work boot brands offer boots that provide impact, compression and puncture resistance, electrical hazard protection, and metatarsal protection – all of which are made in accordance with the latest federal and state safety standards.

When deciding on the right boot to buy, consider the process the product undergoes during development. Manufacturers with a solid process conduct numerous safety tests to make certain each pair of work boots is built with the consumer in mind, aiming to protect against as many workplace dangers as possible. Putting forth great effort in keeping up to date on the ASTM standards and methods for testing safety footwear is a top priority. It is important to look for materials that protect the metatarsals and possess puncture-resistant technology. Some manufacturers have been able to make advancements in materials that provide the same technology behind bulletproof vests to prevent sharp objects from penetrating the insole, while maintaining a light weight that is easy to wear.

Consumers and employers count on their favorite work boot brand to deliver top-of-the-line safety footwear that exceeds both federal and state safety standards, and that is important to a manufacturer who wants to accommodate both state and federal requirements, as well as provide the consumer what they need.

Investing in work boots that meet federal and state safety standards is not always cheap, but investing in the proper safety footwear can save you more serious injuries. No matter what job you’re tackling, it’s important to always have confidence in the work boots you’re wearing.

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.

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