You’ve just received a license from Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and you’re ready to get to work. But before you step onto your next job site, are your feet properly protected?
Picking the right boots will keep your feet safe, comfortable, and could even help boost productivity in the long run. Tens of thousands of foot injuries occur each year and result in lost workdays, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While there are many different kinds of boots that offer an array of safety features, there’s a difference between work boots and safety boots. Safety boots typically have toecaps that protect your feet from heavy falling objects and sole plates that prevent nail punctures, among other features.
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires certain types of footwear depending on the type of work involved, so it’s important to know the requirements.
Here are a few things to consider before buying:
–First, assess the hazards. Worksite conditions will dictate what kind of boots you need, whether you’re working indoors or outdoors. Are there surfaces that could become slippery? Are there heavy objects – such as pipes, beams, sharp tools, tree trunks, or rocks – that could fall at any given time? Are there live wires or conductors of electricity present? Are there any liquids that are corrosive or potentially harmful?
Pick the pair that protects you from any adverse conditions you might encounter.
Next, do some research. You’ll need boots that are durable, and keep your feet dry in wet weather. Insulated boots will keep your feet warm in cold weather. Boots with a strong outsole grip will help prevent falls from roofs or uneven surfaces.
Look online to find reviews that list safety and comfort features and note how a particular brand holds up over time. You’ll want boots that last and don’t start to rip within a few short months.
Top-rated boots for the construction industry in 2017 include the Timberland PRO Pit Boss 6-inch Steel Toe Work Boot and the Caterpillar Diagnostic Hi Waterproof Steel Toe Work Boot.
Boots with composite-toe protection are made with materials such as Kevlar, carbon fiber, or plastic; while they’re lighter than steel- or aluminum-toe boots, they’re not quite as strong. However, they offer better protection from electrical hazards and decrease the risk of being shocked.
Finally, try them on before buying. While it’s tempting to buy a top-rated pair online to save time, you’ll get more for your money if you know you’ll be comfortable wearing them all day long. The right pair of boots will feel flexible and supportive.
Avoid boots that pinch your toes or ankles, and take some time to break them in before wearing them to work. Buying boots that don’t fit correctly will be a distraction, and could not only hurt your feet, but also affect your mood.
A Florida contractor licensing company can help individuals and companies navigate the state’s licensing requirements, with approvals as quick as 10 days. For more information on Florida contractor requirements or to get an application started, visit Florida contractor license page or call 239-777-1028.