We take our feet for granted. EWI consultants do many projects for clients where foot injuries are a concern. From meter readers and waste collection services to construction workers and warehouse staff, these injuries can lead to costly lost-production time due to staff shortages and WCB claims.
The types of foot injuries would make anyone wince – crushed or amputated feet and toes, cuts or severed toes, burns, electric shocks, sprains or fractured ankles, and even frostbite. In addition to proper footwear, it’s important to educate employees on common workplace hazards. Staff should learn to recognize a hazard and take proper measurements to report or remove the risk, such as loose nails and sharp objects, chemical spills, damaged electrical lines, cluttered walkways ,and poor lighting.
Foot Injury Prevention at Work
Proper training should be considered mandatory when dealing with conveyor belts, lift trucks, or other heavy machinery and tools. WHIMIS training helps helps recognize and handle chemicals or flammable substances. Signs in areas where precaution is vital help reinforce the need to be aware of moving vehicles, machinery, or possible falling objects.
As for personal protective footwear, there are a lot of resources available to help determine the best boot for the job. Things to keep in mind are comfort (breathablity and flexibility), a steel toe cap that covers the toes past the natural bend of the foot, and a thick sole with a good grip. Most importantly, the Canadian Standards Association states that any worker in an environment where they might be exposed to a safety hazard for the feet must wear CSA certified protective footwear.
Education and prevention does help reduce foot injuries. If you want additional information, we’d be more than happy to help you teach your workers how to keep their toes.