Your worker’s personal protective equipment (PPE) is designed to mitigate the risk of workplace injuries resulting from falls, heavy loads, corrosive substances, and more. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the governing body tasked with ensuring that project sites nationwide are operating in compliance with the rules and regulations established to protect workers.
In parts one and two, the construction law experts at Cotney Construction Law explored the various uses of PPE for protecting workers’ feet and legs and discussed different types of foot and leg protection. In part three, we will take a look at special purpose shoes. If you have more questions about OSHA compliance, an OSHA defense lawyer can assist you in securing your project site.
Electrically Conductive Shoes
When your employees are working in conditions prone to static electricity buildup, it’s important to outfit them in electrically conductive shoes to keep them safe to avoid explosive hazards. For instance, workers in a grain elevator are required to wear conductive shoes to minimize the potential of a spark igniting a fire. Do not use foot powder when wearing conductive footwear, it provides insulation which limits the conductive ability of the shoes and increases the risk of injury. The type of socks worn with electrically conductive shoes is important, too. Silk, wool, and nylon socks can generate static electricity, so they should not be worn with conductive footwear. Always remove conductive footwear after a task is completed and never wear this type of foot protection when exposed to electrical hazards.
Electrical Hazard, Safety-Toe Shoes
Workers who wear electrical hazard, safety-toe shoes are protected from electrical shocks. This type of PPE blocks an electrical current from reaching the ground, which helps protects workers from most electrical hazards. Typically, these shoes protect the wearer against open circuits up to 600 volts in dry conditions. By pairing these shoes with other insulating equipment, the wearer is essentially shock-proof, although accidents have occurred in the past. It’s imperative that employees keep their shoes dry to maintain their efficacy as electrical protection, but other damages from wear-and-tear, like worn-out soles and embedded metal particles, can compromise a worker’s safety, too. Never wear this type of PPE when working in explosive environments.
These shoes are intended for use in a metal foundry where extreme heat and exposure to molten metal are a constant threat to worker safety. Foundry shoes utilize special materials to prevent hot metal from entering shoe eyelets, tongues, and other parts of the shoe. They are usually composed of leather or a leather substitute. All OSHA-compliant foundry shoes have built-in safety toes.
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.