Introduction

Health and Safety leads most of us to think about hard hats and Hi Vis clothing; our footwear only comes into consideration for situations where steel cap toes are needed.

While you're working hard, your feet are probably working harder, absorbing up to three times your body weight as well as the impact of helping your body travel from A to B, whether in the warehouse or office building. Sore feet can lead to sore joints, muscles and even backache. "When your feet hurt, you hurt all over." Feeling fatigued can lead to other accidents and injuries whilst at work.

Wearing the correct footwear is the first step towards preventing foot-related injuries or discomfort and fatigue during day-to-day work.

What are Some Specific Examples of Workplace Foot Injuries?

Foot Problems Common Causes
Severely aching feet, blisters, calluses, corns, rheumatism, arthritis, malformations of toes, fallen arches (flat feet), bunions, sprains Long periods of standing, hard flooring, and poorly fitted footwear:
  • high heels
  • pointed shoes
  • lack of arch support
  • too loose or too tight footwear
Sweaty feet, fungal infections (athlete's foot) Hot and humid environment, strenuous work, footwear with synthetic (non-porous) uppers
Injuries Common Causes
Crushed or broken feet, amputations of toes or feet Feet trapped between objects or caught in a crack, falling of heavy objects, moving vehicles (lift trucks, bulldozers, etc.), conveyor belts (feet drawn between belt and roller)
Punctures of the sole of the foot Loose nails, sharp metal or glass objects
Cuts or severed feet or toes, lacerations Chainsaws, rotary mowers, unguarded machinery
Burns Molten metal splashes, chemical splashes, contact with fire, flammable or explosive atmospheres
Electric Shocks Static electricity, contact with sources of electricity
Sprained or twisted ankles, fractured or broken bones because of slips, trips or falls Slippery floors, littered walkways, incorrect footwear, poor lighting