Impact, compression, and puncture are the most common types of foot injury in the workplace. These injuries can be prevented with proper footwear.
If there is a risk of foot injury, appropriate protective footwear should be worn.
Safe Work Practices
- Complete a risk assessment of your work environment to determine the what hazards are present and determine appropriate PPE for all tasks,
- Create a policy on the use, care, replacement, and type of safety footwear required,
- If providing toecaps to visitors and contractors, ensure they are CSA approved.
- Wear good fitting socks,
- Fully tie laces,
- Keep the CSA tag on,
- Inspect footwear for cracks in soles, breaks in leather or exposed toe caps. Replace footwear if they are damaged.
Safety Shoe Tags
Green Triangle: Grade 1 steel toe cap with puncture-resistant sole,
White Square: Electrical protection, for work environments where accidental contact with live electoral conductors can occur,
Yellow Square: Anti-Static protection, this footwear should not be used where contact with live electrical conductors can occur,
Red Square: Electrically conductive, this footwear should not be used where contact with live electrical conductors can occur,
Dark Grey Rectangle with M: Metatarsal (middle of foot) protection. For work environments where heavy objects can crush the metatarsal region of the foot
Footwear will also be marked to indicate the level of slip resistance. These markings may be on the packaging, the footwear, or on a product sheet.
If you are not sure about which safety footwear is right for you, contact us at [email protected].
For those not required to wear safety footwear, it is important to pick shoes that are comfortable, closed-toed, with proper insoles, and slip-resistant soles.
Foot comfort is an important issue for workers, especially those who mainly stand for their jobs. Problems can include aching feet, blisters, fallen arches (flat feet), and more. Such injuries cause discomfort, pain, and fatigue, setting the worker up for further injuries affecting the muscles and joints. Also, a worker who is tired and suffering pain is less alert and more likely to act unsafely.
Workers should vary tasks, when possible, and shift positions often when standing for long periods of time. They should also take frequent breaks and rest their feet.
Flexible floors such as carpeting, rubber, or anti-fatigue matting can help increase comfort for standing tasks.
Who Should Provide Safety Footwear?
Manitoba Safety and Health Act
Footwear: responsibilities of employers and workers
6.12(1) An employer must provide a worker with
(a) outer foot guards that provide metatarsal protection, when there is substantial risk of a crushing injury to the worker’s foot; and
(b) protective footwear, when the worker’s feet may be endangered by a hot, corrosive or toxic substance.
6.12(2) Subject to subsection (1), a worker is responsible for providing for himself or herself protective footwear that
(a) is appropriate for the risk associated with the worker’s workplace and work; and
(b) meets the requirements of
(i) CSA Z195.1-16, Guideline for selection, care, and use of protective footwear, or
(ii) CSA Z195:14 (R2019), Protective Footwear,
if the worker may be at risk of injury from a heavy or falling object or from treading on a sharp object.
Published: September 11, 2020
“Protect Your Feet!”, Government of Canada, 16 July 2013, www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/health-safety/reports/feet.html
“Safety Footwear”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 8 January 2016, www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/footwear.html
“Foot Comfort and Safety at Work”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 22 May 2015, www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/foot_com.html
“Footwear – Assessment Checklist”, Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 8 January 2016, www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/footwear_assessment.html