There is a whole range of foot problems that can occur at work. These painful conditions can sideline a worker and put a burden on your bottom line. This article will reveal helpful suggestions for how best to avoid common foot hazards that employees might face on the job.
Foot Safety at Work
Image via Flickr by Todd Dwyer
There are two main types of work-related foot injuries. The first includes punctures, impact injuries, sprains, and cuts, while slips, trips, and falls cause the other kind of injuries. A lack of attention often triggers accidents.
Other conditions such as calluses, ingrown toenails, and tired feet are also common among workers. Although these aren’t necessarily occupational injuries, they do affect your employee’s overall health and performance on the job.
Discomfort and fatigue can set your team up for further injuries. Employees are understandably less alert when suffering a painful foot condition and may forget safety protocols, leading to an accident.
Causes of Foot Problems at Work
Standing for long periods of time on hard flooring, poorly fitted footwear, and a lack of arch support lead to a myriad of health problems on the job. Depending on the type of work, from kitchen staff to retail associates to construction workers, the right kind of shoe is essential.
Hot and humid environments, strenuous work, and synthetic footwear can lead to sweaty feet, and fungal infections commonly called athlete’s foot. Having a waterproof work boot will protect your crews’ feet and will protect them from other hazards they may encounter on the job site.
The human foot is designed to move. Maintaining a stationary position is extremely tiring for your feet. After years of standing, your worker’s feet can become permanently damaged. The foot’s joints become misaligned, causing inflammation that often leads to rheumatism and arthritis.
Design your worker’s day to include a variety of tasks that require them to change their body position often and use different muscle groups to perform their duties. Job rotation makes work easier on everyone’s feet, and cross training grows your employee’s skill-sets.
Dangers From Falling Items
Every employee has the potential to get in the way of a falling item. According to OSHA, 200,000 workers suffer foot injuries each year. From bricks to a clothing rack or a box of frozen chicken wings, injuries happen when something impacts your worker’s feet.
Employers may not know how to select the proper foot protection for their employees. An all-purpose shoe simply won’t protect against every hazard. Work boots with a steel shank offer the best protection against falling objects.
Depending on the environment, the best opponent to slips and falls is good traction. Consider footwear with a deep tread pattern and slip-resistant sole. The best way to prevent slip-ups is to train workers in the proper protocol for cleanup. Mark the spill, mop it up quickly to avoid falls, and ensure obstacles are put in their proper place to prevent tripping.
There is no workplace where an employee is immune to a foot injury. However, employers can minimize hazards with these handy tips.