Autumn is rounding out, and in typical British style we're in for a wet, cold winter. As our basic science lessons taught us, wet + cold = icy, slippy ground and the possibility of accidents, injuries and irritating working conditions.
One of the best ways to keep yourself, and your employees, grounded this winter is a good solid foundation to work on, and by that we mean good footwear. But we also know that choosing the right boots can actually be harder than it seems.
There's a myriad of different terms used by different companies to describe slip-resistant footwear. And then there's the additional factors you might need from your boots; steel-toe caps, hard-wearing uppers, you want to make sure they're comfortable, but you need protection from all directions.
Here's our top tips for making sure you get the footwear that works best.
- Identify the biggest slip risks for your working environment, and what that might require from your footwear. What surfaces are you walking on most? What material is most likely to be causing a slip risk?
- Ask for advice from your supplier on what they would recommend for your working conditions. You can call us or visit us in store any time and we are always happy to answer questions.
- Think tread pattern and sole material, not descriptions. As the HSE advises; "Generally a softer sole and close-packed tread pattern work well with fluid contaminants and indoor environments. A more open pattern works better outdoors or with solid contaminants."
- Be aware of what statements companies use actually mean. For example, "oil-resistant" means that the sole won't be physically damaged by oil, it doesn't mean the same thing as "slip-resistant".
- Ensure when you put your footwear on that any laces are tightly done up and undamaged, you can slip far easier in a boot that isn't on properly.
- Keep maintaining your footwear. Make sure soles are cleaned often, and you don't have any performance-diminishing debris clogging up the tread. Watch closely for when soles wear down too much and your boots need replacing too.
Click through to view our collection of safety footwear, or visit us in our Haverhill store for fitting and safety advice.
For more information about footwear and slips and trips, visit the HSE website.