Why Do Employers Require Steel-Toed Shoes?

Learn why many employers require workers to wear steel-toed shoes. Discover why you should wear them even if not required in many industries.

In many workplaces in West Virginia, employees are likely to have safety rules and regulations. They often undergo training on safety equipment and procedures. This focus on safety is for a good reason. Any workplace can be dangerous. Whether the work done is on a construction site, in a warehouse or stocking merchandise in a store, there are plenty of hazards that could lead to an injury.

While there are many different types of safety equipment used across various industries, one of the most common is steel-toed shoes or boots. These are special footwear with a reinforced steel toe that protect against many different workplace injuries.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration Requirements

One of the biggest reasons many industries require employees to wear steel-toed boots is because it is a requirement set by OSHA. Safety Equipment FAQ states OSHA requires protective footwear in all workplaces where foot injuries are a danger. This includes places where something could fall, roll, pierce or electrocute a foot.

Possible hazards could include heavy bags of materials, large products, heavy machinery, nails or other sharp objects, metal, welding materials and electrical circuits. It really depends on the industry, but even if steel-toed shoes are not required, anyone working around heavy or sharp objects and electricity should consider wearing steel-toed shoes to help stop workplace accidents.

Protection Offered

Safety Shoe Distributors notes injuries can occur in many ways. An employee could have his or her foot crushed, punctured or cut. Injuries to the foot also include sprains and breaks. These injuries can be prevented or be less serious if an employee wears a steel-toed shoe.

Creative Safety Supply adds that steel-toed shoes or boots can help prevent electrocution, burns or shocks if they are non-conductive. They can also provide solid footing and prevent common slips, falls and trips. Most steel-toed shoes are also designed to help prevent foot fatigue and pain, which can be distracting and lead to other injuries. Finally, many of these shoes are also made to be weather-proof, which can help keep feet dry and warm.

Safety has to be a top concern for employers and employees. Workplace accidents happen every day, and while many are minor, severe accidents and even deaths do occur. If safety equipment, like steel-toed shoes, is not used, it only increases the chances of severe injuries.

If you have been injured in the workplace, contact our attorneys immediately. We offer a free initial consultation and we don’t get paid unless you win your claim. We have many years of experience with workplace accidents and have negotiated multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients.


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