Sole Education Week 5: Personal Safety On the Job

Sole Education - Personal Safety on the Job

Safety goggles, hardhats, and you guessed it – safety footwear are all examples of materials that may be used as PPE (personal protective equipment) in the trades.  As a mechanical engineering intern and student, Mikayla had her own experience with PPE, let’s learn about what safety measures and protocols are taken in the industry:

Personal Safety on the Job

While in my first engineering classes, we learned a few safety protocols for Brown Steel Toe Boots when we are working with machinery, harmful chemicals, or near dangerous equipment.

Personal Safety Standards Include:

  • Wearing long hair up in a bun to prevent it from getting caught in machinery or dipped in harmful chemicals,
  • Wearing closed-toe or steel-toed boots while on a machine shop floor,
  • Always wear safety glasses when on the shop floor
  • Wearing long work pants
  • Wearing a safety vest.

In my intro to machining class, I was the only female so I was the only one that needed to follow the safety protocol for putting my hair up and out of the way. The risk with having your hair down can be that it gets caught in spinning machinery, it can be dipped into contaminants, and it can get in the way of a part you are examining. At Volvo Trucks, we are required to wear safety glasses and steel-toed boots whenever we enter the machine shop or truck garage. This is because it is a liability if heavy machinery were to land on our toes, and if harmful chemicals or metal chips fly into our face. Safety is incredibly important for work productivity, without these protocols, people can get hurt and not be able to work.

 

Follow along with Mikayla’s progress here.
Learn more about the Generation T movement here.

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What are ASTM Standards?

What are ASTM Standards?

ASTM- American Society for Testing and Materials. In short, ASTM is one of the largest voluntary standards developing organizations in the world. Meaning they create Standards, which are documents that give manufacturers information about procedures and regulations in their specific industry. They provide guidance for individuals, companies and other institutions around the world.

Who uses ASTM Standards?

Many members of the scientific community have been using ASTM standards to guide them in their research and development in their laboratories and offices. Alongside them, architects, government agencies and many others have used ASTM standards to reference plans, regulations, laws and other useful information.

Saf-GardTM complies with all regulations set forth and with the help of ASTM and ANSI collaborate on the “American National Standard for Personal Protective Footwear” which sets clear specifications and performance requirements for all protective footwear.

Our Standards:

STEEL TOE

In 1995 OSHA began enforcing a new standard for personal protective equipment (PPE). As part of this standard, employers now require ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) rated safety footwear (steel toe boots, etc.) in areas where employees are exposed to injury as a result of falling or rolling objects. All steel toe shoes meet or exceed ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 C/75 standards.

METATARSAL GUARD (MG)

Metatarsal guard footwear protects both the toes and the metatarsal bone behind the toes. Metatarsal guard shoes are required in any environment where injuries can occur to the metatarsal bone. They are most commonly used in foundries,  air product distribution, and other heavy manufacturing. All styles marked with the “MG” icon meet the ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 C/75 standards.

STATIC DISSIPATIVE (SD)

SD shoes regulate the build-up of electrical charge in a person’s body. Electrostatic dissipative shoes are commonly used for those who work in the manufacturing of computer components, solvent-based paints, explosives, and plastics. SD products reduce the risk of static shock to people and to the manufactured product. All safety shoes marked with the “SD” icon meet the ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 C/75 SD.

CONDUCTIVE (CD)

Conductive shoes protect against the hazards of static electricity build-up. They are intended to protect the wearer in an environment where the accumulations of static electricity on the body is a hazard. These shoes should not be worn by people working near open electrical circuits. All styles marked with the “CD” icon meet the ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 C/75 CD.

COMPOSITE TOE

Compared to their steel toe counterparts the composite toes are manufactured using lightweight materials to make the shoe weigh less while meeting SEMC® safety-toes exceed both ASTM F2413-05 (formerly ANSI Z41 PT99) I/75 and C/75 standards. The SEMC® safety-toes retain heat in severe cold, are 30% lighter than steel and are non-metallic for electronic security work environments.

ELECTRICAL HAZARD (EH)

ASTM F2413-05 Electrical Hazard safety footwear provides workers with a secondary source of protection from live circuits, wires or highly charged electrical equipment. The insulating properties of such footwear are measured under dry conditions and may deteriorate in wet environments with wear.

SLIP RESISTANT (SR)

Slip resistant safety footwear is the fastest-growing segment of the safety footwear industry. The reason: today’s slip resistant shoes work. For many employers with wet, oily, and/or greasy floors, it is common sense to require slip resistant safety footwear. Slip related injuries can be extremely costly. Employers who require slip resistant boots and shoes reduce workers’ compensation claims. This is good news for everyone.

 

Want to learn more about these standards, or the services we offer? Check us out at www.safgard.com today!

Why You Should Take the Time to Get a Shoe Fitting

What do we want? More time!! When do we want it? Yesterday!!

Yes, with the long work week and the hassle of every other activity and event going on in our lives, it seems like we have no free time for anything. So how we choose to spend this free time is extremely valuable, and something as small as a shoe fitting will likely get swept under the rug.

I mean, come on! What’s the point right? We’re all over the age of five, so we all know our own shoe sizes. Obviously, we don’t need our safety shoes to be fitted by a professional because we can clearly do it ourselves, right?

One would think.

But, there’s actually more to sizing than meets the eye. When you’re on your feet for eight hours a day, your shoes need to fit perfectly. Or else…the improperly fitted shoe demons will haunt you until you find yourself cursing the creator of the first ever pair of shoes.

Remember back in elementary school when we had to do compare/contrast exercises? Let’s go ahead and do one of those here.

Your first day at work without getting your new safety shoes properly fitted:

You arrive at the warehouse for your first day on the job. Your new steel-toe boots look great on you, you’re feeling confident, and you’re ready for this exciting new challenge in your life.

Flash forward five hours: That same steel toe protecting your foot has now caused you to lose all feeling in your big toe. For all that you know, your big toe could have fallen off by now and ended up in one of those boxes that you just loaded onto a truck. As you hobble around on just the heel of your foot, the judgmental side-eye glare from your coworkers is all too real.

But that’s not all.  Another two hours (if only all work days could move this fast), and the boot on your other foot is creating blisters the size of Mars. At this point, you’re debating whether or not just chopping your foot off entirely is the best option (hint: it’s not. Don’t do that).

Every step feels like you’re walking on knives, and you end the day by throwing your new pair of boots in the giant warehouse trash compactor. Sounds like a cheerful first day, huh?

Now here’s your first day with shoes that have been properly fitted:

When you take the extra time to get your shoes fitted by a professional, they would know exactly where your big toe should be within the shoe while standing. They’d double check this before you left the store, and they’d have you walk a few laps around the store to ensure that the shoes feel good while you walk.

A professional would also know exactly how long and wide the shoe should be on your feet. They would check to make sure that the ball of your foot is resting on the widest part of your shoe to make sure that they don’t slip around and cause those nasty blisters.

So you arrive at work in your new, stylish, and properly fitted safety shoes, and you have a completely normal and ordinary day! There’s the thrilling and anticlimactic ending that we were looking for. Safety shoes are meant to keep you safe and looking good, and they also shouldn’t distract you from your everyday activities at work.

So don’t be that person who says, “But they felt ok when I tried them on in the store!” as you hobble around while cursing your new shoes. Get them properly fitted and checked out by a professional.

Any questions? Feel free to visit our sizing and fitting page here to read about specific shoe sizes and width letters: https://www.safgard.com/education/sizing-fit