Many feet or leg related problems faced by workers are caused by inadequate footwear. Whether a warehouse operative, forklift truck driver or an employee involved with logistics and packing, feet bear the brunt of the daily working life and it is essential that users are able to wear safety shoes or boots that are appropriate to their working environment.
Stricter occupational legislation in the workplace is propelling the demand for industrial footwear. Advancing technology, product innovation and design means that safety features are now available that weren’t even considered decades ago. But essentially the premise for what is required remains the same: comfort, durability and protection.
To this end, Dr. Martens has a wide range of stylish footwear in its Industrial Range, including women specific designs, that have safety features designed to protect against particular conditions, all carrying the fixed European standard mark EN345 or the more recent EN ISO 20345. To simplify the decision making process, there are marking codes which range from SB (Safety Basic) through to S3, indicating a high spec safety boot.
It is important to check the technical information provided and select appropriate footwear depending on the type of hazards that are encountered in the workplace. There are safety features for wet, hot and cold conditions, cuts and punctures, electrostatic build-up, falling objects, heavy loads, metal and chemical splash.
Statistics from the HSE show slipping and tripping to be the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces ¹. Yet appropriate boots or shoes with slip resistant soles go some way towards preventing such accidents.
Dr. Martens provide differing options of sole tread, depending on the ‘grip capability’ that is required. In addition to slip resistant soles, a puncture resistant midsole plate will protect against the threat of underfoot hazards. There are sole designs which offer heat resistance up to 300°C for 60 seconds, and an anti-static safety feature with an outsole on selected footwear that will discharge static build-up through the shoe to the floor.
A safety toecap is essential where there is the risk of a shoe being crushed, hit by an object or caught in machinery. For some employees, a basic safety shoe might suffice, combining a smart ‘office’ appearance with the necessary protection should they be required to go onsite.
For warehouses or in ‘clean’ factory settings, a more athletic footwear option is often preferred. Fortunately innovative, advanced technologies can combine the “heavy” durability of a traditional work boot with the “light” nature of an athletic shoe. Dr. Martens has launched three new designs which are lightweight and easy to wear: perfect for light duties but also incorporating key S1P safety features necessary for onsite visits. Purlin ST is a multi-purpose eight-tie work boot whilst Benham ST, a safety hiker boot, and Gunaldo ST, a safety shoe, both combine a nubuck upper with breathable mesh panels.
To find the perfect boot for the job, it is essential to understand the demands of the work environment and seek out a boot with the combination of features that will provide the appropriate protection and comfort. Importantly, buy from a reputable manufacturer to ensure the footwear meets European standards and is certified and stamped with the CE mark.
To view the complete Dr. Martens Industrial Range of work boots, visit www.drmartens.com/industrial
¹ Source: HSE – Slips & trips and falls from height in Great Britain, 2013