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2017SummerShotcreteEMag

Some key features to look for when selecting your footwear are: STEEL TOES These contain protective reinforcement made of steel and are the original safety-toe work boots. Their benefits include the best puncture protection from sharp and falling objects and their affordability. Composite toes are a more recent development, and contain no metal. Instead, they’re crafted from materials such as plastic, carbon fiber, and rubber. Their benefits are better electrical resistance and temperature regulation in addition to being significantly lighter in weight. Composites may be better for colder climates and to reduce leg fatigue. Steel toe or composite toe are both acceptable; choosing one instead of the other will come down to personal preference. Steel soles can help to protect your feet from accidental puncture wounds commonly caused by sharp objects (ever see nails sticking up from lumber on a jobsite?) that you may step on. SLIP RESISTANCE Slips, trips, and falls are responsible for some of the most common workplace injuries. Slip resistance offers a simple yet effective way to maintain everyday safety. Design, tread pattern, and material used in the outsole will affect gripping ability. Check to see that outsole materials are resistant to the environment you’ll be exposed to on the project. Some materials are more resistant to oils or chemicals than others. CONSTRUCTION AND FIT The amount of use provided by a pair of boots will depend on how well constructed they are and how well they fit. There should be sufficient ankle support for stability. The shoe must grip the heel firmly to prevent chafing and slipping, with the forepart allowing free movement of the toes. The boots should have a low, wide-based heel. When purchasing shoes, have both your feet measured. Most people have different sized feet, so purchase shoes that fit the larger foot. Also, purchase footwear late in the afternoon when feet are at their largest, and while wearing the same kind of socks you will wear daily to prevent blisters. Don’t buy footwear that is too tight, expecting it to break in, but do allow a few days of wearing your boots for short periods before wearing them for a full day’s work. Shock-absorbing insoles and orthotics can also be helpful for preventing calluses and ingrown toenails. They can also delay the onset of foot fatigue from working on hard surfaces, which has been proven to be a contributing factor of accidents. Having more than one pair of work boots will allow them to dry fully each day and help them last longer. Boots should also be cleaned regularly and replaced when they start to show signs of excessive wear. Taking all these factors into account should help extend the useful life of your work boots and get the most value from your investment. Selecting the right boot is an important choice for your workplace productivity and safety. Your feet will thank you when you make the right choice! Examples of safety boots Andrea Scott is the Director of Safety and Quality Control for Hydro-Arch, Henderson, NV. She has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry with a background in special inspection of reinforced concrete, reinforced masonry, structural steel and welding, and nondestructive testing. She is a member of ASA, Chair of the ASA Safety Committee, and a former member of the ASA Board of Direction. Scott is also a longtime ACI member, and member and Past President of the Las Vegas Chapter – ACI. www.shotcrete.org Summer 2017 | Shotcrete 67


2017SummerShotcreteEMag
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