PPE: Foot And Leg Protection

Workers who should wear protective footwear are those who are exposed to hot substances, corrosive or poisonous materials, molten metal, splashes, falling or rolling objects such as barrels, tools, penetrating materials, (nails, spikes), hot, wet slippery surfaces, or electric hazards.  Non-conductive footwear should be worn in electric hazard situations; conductive footwear is required for those who work where there are static electric conditions.

Types of protection for legs and feet are:

  • Leggings – Protection for lower legs and feet against heat hazards; safety snaps allow leggings to be quickly removed.
  • Metatarsal Guards – May be strapped to outside of shoes to protect instep area from compression and impact.  Usually made of aluminum, steel fiber or plastic.
  • Toe Guards – Fit over toes of regular shoes, also made of aluminum, steel or plastic.
  • Safety Shoes – Have heat resistant soles and impact resistant toes.  Some have metal insoles for protection from puncture wounds.
  • Foot and Shin Guards – May be used in addition to toe guards when more protection is needed.

Special Purpose Shoes are Electrically Conductive Shoes, which as previously stated, protect against buildup of static electricity in the body, which could produce a spark.  This type of shoe is required for those who work in occupations such as explosives manufacturers or grain elevators.   Non-Conductive Electric Hazard safety-toe shoes prevent wearers’ feet from completing electric circuit to the ground, while working in jobs that may present electric hazards.  Foundry Shoes are made of snug- fitting leather, leather-substitute, and have leather or rubber soles, rubber heels.  All foundry shoes must have built in safety toes.

Source: OSHA