Admittedly, a discussion on proper work boots is not particularly exciting. However, like all types of personal protective equipment (PPE), their importance cannot be understated. According to the National Safety Council, 120,000 work-related injuries occur in the U.S. every year, an estimated 50% of which result in lost time. Mandating that crews wear protective footgear is a critical component of reducing these numbers.
Six Tips for Proper Work Boots
I recently read an EHS article that provided 6 excellent tips for choosing the best work boots. Below is an abbreviated version of these recommendations.
- Make sure they are comfortable by trying a variety of options before selecting the best type or brand for your needs.
- Assess durability by putting the boots through the proverbial ringer. Boots that come with a lifetime warranty usually indicate a quality product.
- Opt for boots with steel toes.
- Opt for boots that are waterproof.
- Opt for boots that provide adequate foot and ankle support.
- Don’t forget to account for the ease with which the boots can be cleaned and maintained.
In addition to these tips, be sure to familiarize yourself with ASTM boot safety ratings and codes.
Again, I realize that boots are not exactly an intellectually stimulating topic, but they are extremely important for utilities nonetheless. Like any type of PPE, boots can either help or hinder crew productivity, no matter whether it’s during an emergency restoration or during ‘blue sky’ days. For lineman and other utility personnel, proper work boots are a critical element of restoration safety and productivity, so choosing wisely is essential.