A few days ago I heard an interview on the radio where ahead of an interior design company spoke. Traditionally it had been dedicated to the private home environment, although it had already diversified its activity a few years ago, and currently had a design line for workspaces that was becoming increasingly important in its business model. This person explained the importance of having adequate physical space, as well as the influence of this on the performance of the workers, and consequently on the final result of a company.
Having an appropriate environment for the task to be developed is important for the execution of the same. Normally businessmen try to improve their management systems to streamline processes and seek to provide their production plants with the best elements of production to improve business competitiveness. This is done because they are considered inputs that add up and contribute to improving the final result of our company.
Importance of footwear in the workplace
Why not ask then that the staff work safe and comfortable if it has a direct impact on the result? For example, given the imperative to use safety footwear, can we think that the selection of this footwear is another element that directly affects the result? I do not imagine the president of an important football club putting obstacles in the way of what footwear his players should wear, simply because there are cheaper solutions in the market. Or a professional athlete reducing expenses in their running shoes.
The feet, legs or back of the user of safety footwear can be affected by the use of poorly selected footwear and directly affect their work performance and health. The consequences of the habitual use of bad footwear in our day to day or for the sports practice are known. Of course, no one can think of wearing a summer shoe on rainy days in winter, it does not suit the environment. Nor does it occur to us to use an incorrect shoe if we have some special feature in the foot or simply the design does not fit the shape of our foot. All this also happens in our work activity. You can check out on this link waterproof work boots for you.
There are numerous models that comply with the same regulations. How to differentiate which is the right one for my workers?
Regardless of the special requirements that may be needed due to the specific activity (foundry, welders etc …), three types of factors that directly affect the user must be taken into account: the time that must be worked with this PPE, the place of work, and the physical characteristics of the individual.
There are several elements and characteristics of the safety shoes that we must know in order to make a correct and appropriate selection both to the working conditions (physical and temporary), as well as to the user.
The cushioning in safety footwear is essential for the comfort and prevention of injuries. The regulation talks about the “energy absorption in the heel (E)” as a requirement for footwear S1 to S5, which guarantees comfort in the area of the foot that most suffers the impact when walking, but not only depends on a correct cushioning It must be borne in mind that not all people have the same weight and, therefore, we apply different energy at that point. We do not tread in the same way, and although the heel is a critical point in this regard, the rest of the foot must also be properly cushioned.
The expert in Morath running shoes, where the cushioning is so important for its users, usually says: “A truck has much more cushioning than a small car, but if you get on the truck you do not move the shock absorbers, while, if you get on the small car, just with jumping, you’ll see how it moves down. ” This makes footwear, running or safety, prepared to hold up to 100 kilos, with someone of 65 kilos or find out that someone is on top. And for the worker, it will be extremely hard.
Laboratory tests only corroborate that the absorption of energy enters the normative parameters, regardless of who uses them. Only some manufacturers propose energy absorption options in the heel depending on the weight or propose systems that substantially improve the minimums that mark the tests, manufacturing their shoes with high quality and durable materials.
The regulation also speaks of permeability and a water vapor coefficient in the instep and lining as a basic requirement. An assay is performed on the materials to determine the ability to evacuate moisture and sweat from the foot. Despite being a ‘basic requirement’, there is a great difference according to the materials. Sweating is a normal biological function of our body that helps regulate its temperature. There are people who suffer from hyperhidrosis, excessive sweat production, and are usually located on the feet and hands. This can cause a constant sensation of cold feet, problems of adherence, reduction of blood circulation, as well as proliferation of fungi and bacteria.
The use of materials, either in the lining or in the exterior material, non-breathable, such as certain qualities of skins or some synthetic of low quality can generate these problems in our staff.
The safety toe cap, mandatory in all safety footwear, also of course has a great impact on its ergonomics. The classic metal toecaps, usually steel, are increasingly used less due to the great evolution that has occurred in this field. Currently, many models include non-metallic ferrules (and templates) made of composites or fiberglass. The composites are assemblages of at least 2 well-cohesive materials forming a new material with properties that the separate elements do not have. In this way, we obtain more flexible, lightweight tips with greater thermal insulation (steel is not a good insulator) that provide a lot of comforts and relieve the foot a lot. Being a shoe without metal parts is achieved that is non-magnetic and more resistant to corrosion as there is no risk of oxidation.
In addition, this type of materials, unlike steel, recovers their shape after an impact. This is very important because in this way the crushed foot is not left and its exit is facilitated.
Slip risk is a major problem in certain industries
There is also an essay in this case that will establish a concrete coefficient for the specific situation that is performed in the test; Sliding on steel or ceramic floors, with a specific amount of a lubricant solution. Undoubtedly, it guarantees certain anti-slip minimums, but it does not ensure that it solves the concrete problem that it may have in my company.
Materials such as TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) or natural rubber are very resistant to sliding.
These are just some aspects that, in addition to complying with the regulations, we can consider when selecting safety footwear and in this way contribute to greater adequacy of the EPI to the staff. The greater our success, the operator will work more comfortable, safer and better, without doubt affecting the achievement of success.