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Foot Protection: What you need to know

29 CFR 1910.136

Protection needed for hazards. Employees in many professions-such as electricians, freight handlers, packers, machinists, and pipe fitters-face potential hazards to their feet. Employer must ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, or when the use of protective footwear will protect the affected employee from an electrical hazard, such as a static-discharge or electric-shock hazard, that remains after the employer takes other necessary protective measures.

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Before selecting foot protection, employers should evaluate the type of hazard faced by the employees. For information on properly assessing workplace hazards, see the PPE-GENERAL Regulatory Analysis section.

Criteria. OSHA mandates that foot protection must satisfy the requirements of American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) F-2412-05 and F-2413-05, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z41-1999, or ANSI Z41-1991, or the employer must show that the foot protection is as effective as protection that complies with the ASTM or ANSI standards.

Types of protection. Appropriate foot PPE has a protective toe and protects the employee from impact and compression hazards. Employees must use safety shoes with impact protection if they are carrying or working with heavy items that may fall or be dropped onto their feet. Shoes or boots with compression protection are important for employees who work with manual carts and objects such as barrels or bulk paper rolls, or face the hazard of objects rolling over their feet. Some employees also may wear shoes with extra metatarsal protection to shield ...


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