The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established a series of guidelines governing workplace safety to help minimize the frequency of work-related injuries in all sectors of the United States economy. These rules and regulations are particularly important to the safety of workers in the construction industry, who face dangerous conditions on a near-daily basis.
At Cotney Construction Law, our OSHA defense attorneys are familiar with the extent of OSHA’s rigid rules and how to best prepare your workforce for total compliance. It can be difficult to ensure the compliance of a team composed of dozens of workers, but a skilled OSHA defense attorney can supplement any lapses in vigil with OSHA compliance expertise and counsel. In this three-part guide, we will explore OSHA-compliant foot and leg protection for your workforce.
Who Should Wear Foot and Leg Protection?
Have you ever seen a construction worker hammering nails without shoes on? Of course not. Any employee engaging in tasks that expose them to foot or leg injuries as a result of falling or rolling objects, crushing or penetrating materials, or other workplace hazards, is required to wear protective footwear. In addition to these physical injuries, workers must be protected from exposure to hot substances and corrosive or poisonous materials by wearing suitable foot and leg protection. Construction workers, such as electricians, who work in close proximity to electrical hazards are required to wear non-conductive footwear, unless their workplace exposes them to static electricity, in which case they should utilize conductive footwear.
When Should You Wear Foot and Leg Protection?
Typically, construction workers are always wearing some form of foot and leg protection whether it’s shoes, boots, knee pads, or another piece of protective equipment. Workers are required to wear foot and leg protection in a variety of circumstances including:
- When working around heavy objects (e.g., barrels or tools) that may roll onto or fall on an employee’s feet or legs
- When utilizing sharp objects (e.g., nails or spikes) that are sharp enough to pierce the soles or uppers of typical shoes
- When being exposed to molten metal that could potentially splash on an employee’s feet or legs
- When working on a project site with hot, wet, or slippery surfaces
- When working in the presence of electrical hazards
In parts two and three, we will examine the performance standards for OSHA-compliant foot and leg protection and the different types of apparatus being utilized by the construction professionals of today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.