The importance of selecting the correct footwear

The importance of selecting the correct footwear

Posted on 15th Feb, 2016 | By Lorretta Tatham

When you think about health and safety in the workplace, footwear might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, the selection and use of the most appropriate footwear at work can have a dramatic effect on reducing accidents. As important as any other type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the right footwear is critical if you want to help prevent slips, trips, and falls.

The risks

The dangers of the following everyday hazards can be minimised by wearing the right safety shoes:

  • Slippery floors
  • Heavy objects falling from a height
  • Chemical spillages
  • Electrical hazards
  • Working on ladders

The importance of selecting the correct footwear 1

Choosing the right footwear

When choosing your footwear, you need to take account of a number of factors, such as the comfort and durability of the shoes, as well as any additional safety features required. For example, a safety steel toecap will be necessary for some jobs, while for others a non-slip sole will do.


One the most important considerations is comfort. If you’re going to be wearing your shoes for a long period of time, making sure that they are fitted correctly will greatly impact the way you work.



For most tradesmen, durability is a necessity when it comes to footwear. Most work long hours and in all weather conditions, so a good, strong grip is essential. Footwear also needs to be long lasting and suitable for working on all types of terrain.

However, do remember that all footwear, not matter how durable, will have to be replaced at some point. Slip resistance properties can change over time; the soles can deteriorate and will no longer offer those benefits the shoes were originally purchased for.



Depending on the work environment and the type of work being done, you may need some sort of reinforced footwear. Choosing a steel capped shoe or boot will reduce the risk of injury and protect your feet at all times, especially when working in roles that require frequent manual handling.


Suitability for the job

Perhaps the most important thing to consider is whether a type of footwear is suitable, or necessary, for a job. There’s no point buying steel-capped boots if you’re just working in a factory environment where spillages are the biggest risk factor. Choose the footwear that is designed for the environment you’re working in.

Improving health and safety at work

To keep on top of all your health and safety needs in the workplace, why not book on to one of our safety training courses? We have a huge range of courses available to suit every need. Some of our most popular offerings include:

To find out more about any of these offerings, give our Course Enquiries team a call today on 01282 615517.

Have you ever had an accident at work as a result of wearing the incorrect footwear? If so, share your story with us in the comments below, or tweet your story to us @BrownsLadders

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