Comfort vs Safety: A Necessary Trade-Off?

Feet are amazing – they not only provide stability and balance, they are also your shock absorbers – taking the impact from every step. Within our feet numerous bones, tendons and ligaments are interacting, thousands of sweat glands help regulate body temperature; restrict this essential work and without a doubt damage will be caused.

So how many workers would say their safety footwear is really giving all day comfort?

Safety footwear is designed to be the final line of defence if an accident was to happen.  We all know how essential it is to be safe at work but a common misconception is that increased safety only comes at the sacrifice of comfort.  It is common for workers to accept heavy, uncomfortable safety footwear which they understandably can’t wait to take off.  What they may not realise is accepting this myth actually comes at a cost – damaged feet and musculoskeletal disorders.

According to the HSE report for 2015/16 there were a massive 500,000 UK workers who suffered from work-related musculoskeletal disorders.  Having the right safety footwear can significantly help improve the well-being of any worker affected by this as well as help to prevent your workers from becoming part of this statistic.

So how is comfort achieved?

There is a huge range of safety footwear on the market today and some manufacturers are focusing on finding new ways to increase comfort through quality, make-up, production methods and design.  When choosing safety footwear look for styles that are designed to enhance comfort and not just aesthetics.

There are some key things you should look for when choosing safety footwear:

  • Evaluate the weight of the footwear – would you be happy to wear them all day?
  • Check out the absorption under the heel. Some soles have little ‘give’ resulting in the ‘concrete block experience’ after a short time.
  • How flexible are they? This is handy if you have to walk anywhere!
  • Choose a shoe or boot that leaves your toes some extra width – our feet spread throughout the day.
  • Are they metal-free? This will considerably reduce the weight and improve balance.
  • Check the fit around the heel—it should feel snug and secure once the boot is pulled on or laced.

Check out the latest developments from a leading European manufacturer: http://www.isb-uk.com/mts-footwear/

Being comfortable will make employees happier and more productive.  This can be achieved by selecting a limited range of footwear, ideally suited to your workplace environment, tried and tested by employees in your industry.

It’s often tempting to buy low cost safety footwear but investing in the wellbeing of your staff has been well proven to save on peripheral costs.  Spending a little more on footwear often means spending less overall.

Get in touch with iSB Group to have a detailed review of your footwear provision, it could save you from not only causing long-term damage to your feet but losing money as well.