OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has many standards in place to keep workers safe while on the clock. This extends to the attire you wear while working in hazardous industries. These four industries have boot standards mandated by OSHA that you should be aware of.
Work boots worn in the construction industry must have non-skid soles, oil resistance, a durable upper, and an impact resistance rating of at least 75. The shoes must also have built-in toe protection. These requirements prevent damage to workers’ feet in the event of an accident. Such accidents can include falling objects, corrosive materials, or rolling equipment.
Safety boots worn in the electrical field must have metatarsal guards, which protect the instep of the foot from impact or compression, and toe guards, which protect the toes from the same hazards. Any workers who interact with electrical hazards should wear nonconductive safety shoes, which protect against live electrical currents.
Boots for the shipping industry have fewer requirements than other industries, but they still require a durable upper and toe protection. This is because individuals working in packing and shipping facilities work with heavy objects, which can fall and injure workers.
Firefighters have extremely strict boot requirements, as they work in extremely dangerous conditions. Their boots must measure at least 8 inches tall from the bottom of the heel to the top of the boot to protect against ankle and heel injuries. For the same reason, boots must have laces—pull-on boots are insufficient.
The boots’ exterior must be leather, and the sole must be melt-resistant, as other materials can liquify in high temperatures.
For a safe and stylish option, consider wearing our western work boots while on the job. But before making a purchase, be sure to confirm that they meet OSHA’s boot standards for your industry.