The Importance of Foot Protection

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including footwear, plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of workers in various workplaces.  


Here are some key reasons that highlight the importance of proper footwear in the workplace: 


What does foot protection mean? 

Foot protection means guarding your toes, ankles, and feet from injury. Your feet have 26 bones for support and 33 joints for movement in each foot. The feet also have blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, and nerves which is why it hurts so bad when you stub your toe. Your feet are incredibly important and are fundamental in almost everything you do. 


Foot protection in the workplace 

PPE for your feet is imperative to protect your foot from physical hazards such as falling objects, stepping on sharp objects, heat and cold, wet slippery surfaces and exposure to corrosive chemicals. The two most common work-related injuries are: 

  • Foot injuries from punctures crushes, sprains and strains, lacerations.
  • Foot injuries because of slips, trips and falls.

Why it’s important 

There are many reasons why you should take the safety of your feet seriously: 


  1. Protection from Hazards

Depending on your line of work, proper footwear is designed to help protect you from various workplace hazards. Since there are a variety of footwear options available, depending on your specific risks, it is imperative to ensure that your feet are protected appropriately. From falling objects, to chemical spills you want to ensure your feet stay safe from harm! 


  1. Prevents injury

Wearing the appropriate footwear for your job helps to reduce the risk of injuries such as lacerations and burns. In turn, this helps promote a safe work environment, and allows employees to feel secure in their roles and in their workplace. 


  1. Compliance with Regulations

Depending on occupational health and safety regulations, you may be required to wear the proper footwear designated for your job and working conditions. Following these regulations is not only legally required, but it is essential for establishing and maintaining a strong safety culture in the workplace. 


  1. Long-term health

Appropriate footwear helps in preventing long-term health problems associated with the feet, such as musculoskeletal disorders and dermatological issues


  1. Employee morale and confidence

When employees know that they are protected from possible risks, they are more likely to feel confident in their role. Since this confidence directly relates to their willingness to be productive and engaged, they will be more committed to establishing an efficient and effective workplace for everyone. 


The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety recommends the following

  • If foot protection is required, set up a complete foot safety protection program, including selection, fit testing, training, maintenance, and inspection.
  • 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 (R2019) "Protective footwear" or other standards that are required in your jurisdiction.
  • Select CSA-certified footwear (or other certified footwear if permitted in your jurisdiction). Make sure 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.

It is important to ensure that your footwear fits comfortably, snugly, and offers ample toe room. Since you will be wearing these for significant amounts of time, it is essential that you are comfortable. 

Footwear plays a critical role in workplace safety and should be invested in for your own well being and safety as well as your working environment. If you have questions about your own policies and procedures related to PPE, give the Goal Zero team a call today.  

Back to Blog