Canadian Occupational Safety

May/June 2020

Canadian Occupational Safety (COS) magazine is the premier workplace health and safety publication in Canada. We cover a wide range of topics ranging from office to heavy industry, and from general safety management to specific workplace hazards.

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Page 19 of 35

20 F E A T U R E THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR WORKING Knowing when workers need foot protection and how to select the best boots for a job can help avoid serious foot injuries. In this article, Linda Johnson answers your top 10 foot protection questions "Over the last couple of decades, the type of industry or environment in which you're now required to wear them has been broadening. In the past, salespeople working in the office and who occasionally went onto the shop floor would wear their regular shoes. But regulations have tightened up, and they're now mandated to have a pair of safety footwear on if they go onto the shop floor," he says. Q 2. When exactly are they required? A Safety footwear protects workers' feet and legs against a variety of SAFETY footwear is getting more technically advanced, and there are ever more types on the market. Yet, making sure workers have the footwear best suited to their task is still essential. Q 1. Who needs to wear safety shoes? A If a hazard assessment shows that foot hazards are present in the workplace, workers will need to wear safety footwear. Protective shoes are generally required in heavy industries — such as oil and gas, construction, mining, forestry, factories and mills — but also in light manufacturing companies and distribution warehouses, where forklifts and falling objects are hazards. Workers who may not face constant risk of foot injuries are often now required to wear safety footwear, too, says Graeme Hill, owner and operator of Calgary-based Reddhart Workwear Stores. The requirement for safety footwear has in recent years been extended to workers in a wider range of professions. crush, puncture, chemical and burn injuries. These injuries result from hazards including: heavy objects falling, dropping or rolling onto feet; sharp objects that can cut the top of feet; materials, such as nails, that can penetrate bottoms or sides of feet; hot, corrosive or poisonous substances; splatters from welding, molten metal; chemicals; electrical hazards; static electrical discharges; and slips and trips caused by hazardous walking surfaces and environmental conditions, including uneven terrain, slippery surfaces and extreme temperatures. Safety boots, made chiefly of leather, help protect against these hazards because they include elements such as protective toecap; metatarsal guard (which protects the top side of the foot) and protective sole plate (a metallic or non-metallic component that provides puncture protection to the sole of the foot). High-cut boots provide support against ankle injury. Q 3. What is the CSA standard for safety shoes, and do I have to follow it? A Occupational health and safety regulations in most jurisdictions in Canada require that safety footwear meet the requirements of CSA Z195:14 Protective Footwear. The standard, reaffirmed in 2019, includes design and performance requirements for protective footwear, including requirements for toe impact protection, sole puncture protection, metatarsal protection, electric-shock-resistant and slip-resistant soles, as well as for static-dissipative footwear and for slip-resisting footwear. Andrew Violi, president of Toronto- based Mellow Walk Footwear and chairman of the Z195 technical committee, says the standard provides employers and safety managers with information on protective footwear that meets a very high bar for safety. "From a manufacturer's standpoint, it ensures that we commonly agree on the criteria that the finished footwear must comply with. Today, footwear is made all over the world, so having "Today, footwear is made all over the world, so having common standards helps us create that shared responsibility to uphold quality and uniformity." Andrew Violi, president of Mellow Walk Footwear and chairman of the Z195 technical committee SAFETY FOOTWEAR: CCOHS RECOMMENDATIONS Safety footwear is designed to protect feet against a wide variety of injuries. Impact, compression and puncture are the most common types of foot injury. Choose footwear according to the hazard. Refer to CSA Standard Z195-14 "Protective Footwear." Select CSA-certified footwear. Ensure that it has the proper rating for the hazard and the proper sole for the working conditions. Use metatarsal protection (top of the foot between the toes and ankle) where there is a potential for injury. Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

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