Necessity of Safety Shoes in workplace

safety footwear

Safety footwear are simply shoes with more improved toe cap to prevent the foot from getting hurt. The foot can get hurt when exposed to explosives, combustibles, dropping objects etc.

This article focuses on the basics of safety footwear in Kenya and its importance thus helps an individual in getting informed on necessities of safe footwear.

Basics of safety footwear

Safety footwear are mainly recommended for individuals who work in risky areas that require protection of the foot. Constructors for instance wear safety boots when working. Most companies in Kenya provide safety footwear to their employers and in such cases they don’t take the blame if one gets hurt despite provision of this wears.

Having safety footwear does not necessarily mean your foot is safe. A good number have undergone foot related problems and discomfort. This leads us to the factors that one should look into when choosing a footwear;

  • Comfort- This footwear should provide comfort to the foot and since in most cases employers in construction sites and factories tend to wear shoes and boots for a long time, it should ensure hygiene and foot care.
  • Fitness- In consideration of size and height, it should fit not too fit and not too unfit. It is advised that when selecting a good footwear it should be at least on size larger than you normal size. This is good for the feet as it provides room for swelling especially when you wear a shoe for too long.
  • Support- In order to determine whether a shoe will provide good support check on the insole, outsole, midsole and shank.
  • Type of work and risk involved- with the increasing technology, a lot of inventions have risen in the market especially in factories and in construction sites. Nevertheless the industry has encompassed the reinforcement of safety boots in Kenya to ensure workers safety.

Different footwear therefore exist in the market for different kinds of work. A good footwear therefore can ensure your protection when you keep in mind the type of work you are going for and the risks involved.

  • Level of protection expected- this entirely depends on the type of work and risk. Different works have different risks involved and as agreed different footwear exist for different types of labor. Most protective footwear are 15 to 20cm, concealing the ankle and feet.

Consequences of not wearing protective footwear

  • Trips, slips and falls especially when working on wet surfaces or outdoors when it’s raining.
  • Muscle strain 
  • Frosbite and circulatory is prone to individuals performing outdoor task 
  • Electric shock
  • Detrimental impact on performance and productivity.

Wearing protective footwear will therefore protect you from the above consequences.

About EN ISO 20345 

An important aspect that we should not miss out when talking about footwear is the EN I SO 20345: 2011 personal protective equipment safety footwear which sets standards for styles in which footwear are set on.

The Personal Protective Equipment at work Regulations 1992 requires that once a risk is identified and is out of control, it is necessary to provide protective equipment. It is therefore the employer’s responsibility to avail protective wears and this includes footwear which must meet the standards set by the above agent.

Below is a sample of protective footwear

To summarize, every organization should motivate and educate it’s workers on the importance of protective footwear. Maintenance of this wears is as well encouraged, this ensures continues comfort and protection. Source:


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