So then, safety boots. What are they I hear you cry? Why would I want them?
Well, there’s far more different types than you might think is reasonable. There’s safety trainers, safety boots, even safety wellingtons, but not, as I keep trying to tell the wife when she comes into the workshop, safety sandals! See those toes poking out happily? Do you like them, are you attached to them and would you like to remain attached to them?
Anyway, I digress, if you’ve found yourself here, you probably have at least a passing interest in safety footwear.
Do you need them? Well, that kind of depends. Do you like your feet? Do you do a job which may put them in peril? If so, then yes you do need them. You might not even realise you do, you might completely disagree with them, but your boss or the HSE (healthy and safety dudes) might have insisted on them. In which case, get them, or else!
So, assuming you need some, you need to figure out what you need, now this is a potential minefield, but it need not be too troublesome. It really depends what line of work you’re into and what requirements there are legally speaking. If you’ve just joined a well organised company, they may well point you to a list of approved items, if not, you need to do a bit of digging yourself. If you’ve just joined as an apprentice at your local foundry and they tell you “not to bother, those trendy Nike’s will be fine”, walk away and don’t return, no seriously, leave. Those days should be gone, ‘Health and Safety’ can get a bad name, but applied properly as it normally is, it has saved countless limbs and indeed lives.
So, ask your boss, ask your mates/colleagues, look at their shoes. Though not too much as that may cause problems, there’s entire websites dedicated to that, probably. It should be fairly obvious.
Do some research on protection levels. They have metal plates in the soles, to avoid standing on nails for example.
I have various, possibly more shoes than the wife Each has their purpose. My main job is a cabinet maker, shouldn’t be too dangerous you would think, but you’d be amazed quite how much an Oak plank hurts when dropped on your toes, or catching your foot on the corner of a CNC frame. My current preference is the style called ‘Dealer Boots’, largely because my workshop is at home, and I (far too) regularly come up for coffee breaks, they have no laces. They work well for me, but don’t offer as full protection as other styles, more than trainers though.
So, I also have rigger boots, they’re very popular on site jobs. They provide more protection and should be waterproof. I say should, mine are cheap and are fairly waterproof, blast them with a hose to clean them off and they leak at the seams. You pay your money, you make your choice…………
Safety trainers, hmm, don’t seem that safe to me, but still have their benefits, electricians, plumbers (LIST of professions????) might find them worthwhile and they still provide decent protection.
Turn up on the wrong job/site with the wrong footwear and at best you’ll be sent home for the day, at worst, you’ll be escorted off site never to return.
I don’t really know why you’d want safety wellies, but there’s a lot available, so you might be surprised! I guess a cow standing on your foot might hurt somewhat, so maybe there’s a reason to start us off…………