Safety Focus of the Week: Steel-Toe Boots
Protective footwear is required whenever there is a risk of foot injury from falling heavy objects. Working in the shops, pile driving, drilling, railroad work, and many other work tasks involve this risk and require protective footwear.
A consideration when purchasing boots is whether to go with steel or composite. Both meet the ANSI Z41-1999 requirements for protective footwear. Some users claim that composite can be more comfortable in cold weather. Other commentary I have seen indicates that the steel toes are superior for certain occupations, like for users of chain saws. However, several boot manufactures offer logger boots with composite toes – so it doesn’t seem like there is a significant increase in risk of toe injury.
Lastly, urban legend has included myths about workers who lost their toes because a heavy object dropped on their foot caused the toes to be severed (ouch!). However, this urban myth is generally considered false and was even proved false on the Discovery TV show Mythbusters.