Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Footwear Safety - Be aware


Ankle injuries represent 65 per cent of all foot injuries in Ontario construction. Properly worn, a CSA-certified Grade 1 workboot meets the requirements of the current construction regulation (O. Reg. 213/91) and helps protect against ankle and other injuries.

One of three CSA grades, Grade 1 offers the highest protection and is the only one allowed in construction. In a Grade 1 boot, a steel toe protects against falling objects while a steel insole prevents punctures to the bottom of the foot.

Grade 1 boots can be identified by

• a green triangular patch imprinted with the CSA logo on the outside of the boot and
• a green label indicating Grade 1 protection on the inside of the boot.

 Grade 1 boots are also available with metatarsal and dielectric protection. A white label with the Greek letter Omega in orange indicates protection against electric shock under dry conditions.

Selection and Fit
Grade 1 boots are available in various styles and sole materials for different types of work. For example, Grade 1 rubber boots may be better suited than leather boots for sewer and watermain or concrete work.

Boots should provide ample “toe room” (toes about 1/2 inch back from the front of steel box toe cap when standing with boots laced).

When fitting boots, allow for heavy work socks. If extra sock liners or special arch supports are to be worn in the boots, insert these when fitting boots.

Care and Use
Lacing boots military style permits rapid removal. In an emergency, the surface lace points can be cut, quickly releasing the boot.

In winter, feet can be kept warm by wearing a pair of light socks covered by a pair of wool socks. Feet should be checked periodically for frostbite.

Use high-cut (260 mm or 9 in) or medium-cut (150 mm or 6 in) CSA Grade 1 workboots. The higher cut helps support the ankle and provides protection from cuts or punctures to the ankle.

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