Wade Myer grew up under the watchful eye his father, a contractor, who taught him the tools of the trade. Even though he can swing a hammer with the best of them, he’s always been drawn to the written word where he can frame sentences rather than walls. Currently he writes on behalf of Steiner Homes LTD, who builds Valpraiso Custom Homes.
There is an idea that boots can actually cause more damage to your foot than if you were wearing regular work boots. The common belief is that if a heavy object falls on the toe of the boot, the steel will shear off and will sever the toes. I’m not sure how this rumor got started, and maybe at one point in time something like this happened, but it is completely unfounded if you’re buying certified steel toed boots and there are multiple reasons to wear them on the job.
It Is Safer?
Steel toed boots have to go through rigorous testing to be sold as safety boots. The toe caps are placed into an industry standard, official machine that drops a 20kg (44lb) wedge directly onto the cap (this is for ANSI standard). A malleable substance that was placed inside the cap is measured before and after the drop test and if the difference is too great, the cap doesn’t pass the test. All of this being said, steel toed boots are not designed to protect your foot from every imaginable object that could fall or crush your foot. While tissue damage might happen while wearing steel toed boots, the cap is designed to protect the bones from being broken or amputated.
They Protect More Than Your Toes
If your employer requires you to wear steel toed boots and you choose to forgo his warnings and suffer an injury to your foot, you could very well end up not receiving workers comp, insurance coverage, and could even lose your job since you were not following proper regulations.
The argument for steal toe boots really boils down to this: if an object falls on the shoe with enough force to break the steel cap and cut off the toes, the toes would have been lost regardless due to how bad they would have been crushed. There are different ratings for steel toe boots, so make sure you get the proper ones that will withstand your environment.
Do You Have To Pay For These Specialty Shoes?
With all of your other daily expenses in your daily life, buying a specialty shoe when you already have perfectly good leather boots can be a pain. Yes the steel-toed boots are safer, but you don’t plan on getting injured. There is a chance depending on your company’s guidelines that you will not be required to purchase your own steel toed boots.
According to OSHA 1910.132(h)(1) and (2) safety provision employers are required to pay for specialty safety equipment unless employers allow the workers to wear them outside the work place. In those circumstances employees are required to buy equipment that employers decide are necessary for safety with their own money. If the employees are not allowed to bring the shoes home, the employer must pay for the shoes.
Whether or not steel toed shoes are required on the construction zone, wearing them can protect the feet better than regular work boots. Even if your employer is not required to supply them, you should consider investing in your own pair. Your toes will thank you.