Whether you stand all day, operate heavy machinery or handle chemicals, you need to protect your feet as you work. Several foot safety tips reduce injuries and help you maintain a safe work environment.
When to Wear Safety Footwear
Safety footwear protects your feet against numerous injuries, including punctures, impacts, electrical shock and compression. If you work in any hazardous work environment, you probably need to wear safety footwear as part of your daily uniform. Protective shoes also protect your feet if you suffer from weak ankles or other medical conditions.
Available Types of Safety Footwear
Depending on your job and preferences, you may select safety boots or sneakers. Available in a variety of styles and colors, the best safety shoes include a CSA certification and may include:
Safety-toe – features a special toe covering that protects the foot from dropped objects
Steel insole – stabilizes feet and protects them from joint and bone injuries or problems
Metal instep – provides a barrier against glass, nail and other sharp object punctures
Metatarsal protection – reduces injuries to your upper feet and internal bones
Electric protection – absorbs shock through specially made soles
Heat resistant – resists heat-related injuries
Water resistant – repels water and keeps feet dry
Nonslip – improves traction on various surfaces
Where to Purchase Safety Footwear
Your employer may provide strict guidelines and limitations about exactly which safety shoe you may wear, including where you may purchase this gear. If you can select the safety shoes you wear, check specialty footwear stores or online retailers. Because you want to protect your feet, select only the right shoes for your job and feet. Price should be secondary as you promote safety.
How to Fit Your Safety Footwear
When trying on safety footwear, ensure a proper fit.
- Try on shoes in the afternoon to accommodate swelling that occurs naturally during the day.
- Wear your regular work socks and any special supports.
- Ensure ample toe room since the shoes typically do not stretch with wear.
- Check for snugness around the heel and ankle.
- Walk around a bit to check for comfort.
Most safety footwear requires ongoing care and maintenance. Before you wear them for the first time, apply a water-resistant coating. Every day, inspect your shoes for damage, including sole cracks, leather breaks or toe cap exposure. Always replace your safety footwear if you notice signs of wear or damage that you cannot repair and after a puncture, impact or other event that may compromise the shoe.
Protect your feet at work when you wear the right safety footwear. Talk to your employer and check OSHA resources as you purchase, maintain and wear shoes that protect your feet every day.
11 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
Executive Order on Apprenticeships Expected to Help Manufacturers
President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order that will expand apprenticeship programs across the country. As a result of the order, the number of available apprenticeships is expected to increase and the federal government will increase spending for apprenticeship programs to $200 million per year.
Many manufacturers use apprenticeships to meet employment requirements and help students get hands-on experience that can’t be achieved in a classroom. A larger emphasis on apprenticeships may also help fill an anticipated employee shortage in the manufacturing industry. According to the Manufacturing Institute, there will be 3.4 million manufacturing jobs to fill over the next 10 years.
Although the executive order didn’t set specific goals for the number of apprenticeships to be added, experts believe that up to 5 million apprenticeships could exist in the next 10 years. A clause included in the executive order may also allow existing internships to be categorized as apprenticeships.
Machining Safety Tips
Using machines is common for every manufacturer, but ignoring machining safety can expose you to incredibly high costs. OSHA issued $6.8 million in penalties for machining safety violations in 2015, and the associated costs of medical bills, damaged equipment and replacement personnel is much higher.
Before your employees use any machine, you should conduct a review to ensure that they’re properly trained and that all equipment is in working condition. Also, make sure that machine guards are in place to prevent injuries and that employees wear any required personal protective equipment. For more resources on machining safety, contact us at 831-661-5697 today.
Air Bag Manufacturer Files for Bankruptcy
Japanese auto part supplier Takata recently filed for bankruptcy after many years of managing the largest product recall in U.S. history. At least 16 deaths have been attributed to the company’s faulty air bag inflators, and over 69 million vehicles have been recalled as a result.
Although Takata recently pleaded guilty to a felony charge as part of an agreement with the Justice Department, mounting costs from the recall and associated lawsuits overwhelmed the manufacturer. However, Takata executives stated that filing for bankruptcy will allow them to reorganize their finances and continue shipping replacement parts for affected vehicles.
12 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
Employee Drug Use Reaches 12-year High
The positive drug test rate for the U.S. workforce was 4.2 percent in 2016, according to the Drug Testing Index (DTI) released by Quest Diagnostics. This represents a 5 percent increase over the positive rate in 2015, and the largest single-year positive rate since 2004.
The DTI analyzed over 10 million workforce drug test results from 2016 and categorized employees into three categories, including employees with federally mandated drug tests, the general workforce and the combined U.S. workforce. Here are additional details about the DTI’s findings for specific drug types:
- Marijuana—The positive test rate for marijuana increased nearly 75 percent in oral fluid testing, which is used in the general workforce. Federally mandated marijuana tests only utilize urine tests, and the positive test rate increased 10 percent in 2016.
- Cocaine—Positive test rates for cocaine in post-accident drug tests were more than twice as high as pre-employment screenings.
- Amphetamines—Positive test rates for amphetamines have risen 64 percent between 2012 and 2016 for the general workforce. Quest Diagnostics attributes this increase to the prevalence of prescription drugs, including Adderall.
In order to create a safe, productive workplace, you need to watch out for potential drug use at your business.
Political Discussions Hurt Job Performance
Many people can get worked up about politics, but a new survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) has shown that political discussions in the workplace can have a big impact on your employees’ job performance.
The APA surveyed U.S. employees about the impact of political discussions after the 2016 presidential election, and found that these discussions have a detrimental effect on job performance and relationships with co-workers. The survey found that 40 percent of employees have experienced a negative outcome following a workplace political discussion, such as reduced productivity or difficulty getting work done. Additionally, 24 percent of employees said they avoid some co-workers solely because of their politics.
According to the APA, social networks and constant news reports can cause individuals to adopt an “us versus them” political mentality, which can lead to conflict. As a result, it’s important to encourage respect, collaboration and courtesy in your workplace to ensure that your employees feel supported and remain productive.
New Executive Order Aims to Improve Cyber Security
President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order to improve the country’s cyber security and protect key infrastructure from cyber attacks. The order also emphasized the importance of strengthening the cyber security of federal agencies. According to a survey from Thales Group, a cyber security company, 34 percent of federal agencies experienced a data breach in the last year, and 95 percent of agencies consider themselves vulnerable to cyber attacks.
The executive order did not create any ongoing cyber security requirements, but instead laid out goals to assess the current state of cyber defenses and develop deterrence strategies. Here are some of the requirements of the executive order:
- Federal agencies must draft reports on their ability to defend themselves against cyber threats.
- The departments of Energy and Homeland Security must assess potential vulnerabilities to the country’s electrical grids. The executive order specifically mentions that prolonged power outages could pose a threat to national security or damage the economy.
- Various federal agencies must review the cyber defense plans of U.S. allies in order to cooperate during international cyber attacks.
Apple Creates $1 Billion Fund to Support U.S. Manufacturing
Apple, the world’s largest technology company, recently announced that it will create a $1 billion fund to support U.S. manufacturing. Although the company is based in the United States, it has faced criticism for outsourcing most of its manufacturing and taking jobs from U.S. workers.
Apple’s CEO stated that one goal of the fund was to support smart manufacturing and to create a ripple effect in industries that support smart manufacturers. For more information on the manufacturing fund, visit Apple’s website.
DID YOU KNOW?
A U.S. Court of Appeals recently barred the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from requiring recreational drone owners to register their unmanned aircraft. The FAA had originally required recreational drones to be registered in order to help identify aircraft that posed a hazard, and to pass on safety information to operators. However, the court’s ruling will not impact the use of drones for commercial use, as these aircraft must still be registered with the FAA before they are used.