“Why safety shoes do not last…..”

4 min read

Mar 3, 2024

https://ktfafrica.co.za/protective-safety-footwear-2/

When EHS, SHE, HSE, HSSE, SHEQ or OHS in the different industries (Construction, Manufacturing, Logistics, electronics, automobile chemical, cement, FMCG, agriculture, heavy industry etc) have safety shoes as neccesity. Safety shoes are the most widely used common PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at any industrial site.

Common problems seen in shoes –

  • Cracking or Crumbling of the sole
  • Sole separation
  • Loss of shape and poor fit
  • Bad odour

The challenges with safety shoes is that they are designed for specific conditions (wet, hot, fire, cold). The need to find cheaper safety shoes and the protective element tends to be the challenge when looking at safety shoes. The need to also understand which environment the shoes are going to be used in is very important.

Developing a safety shoe

Safety shoes are made of two main parts

Upper is usually made of leather/cloths

Sole is made of different natural and/or synthetic material

  • Polyurethane (PU) soles are most popular as they are light-weight, flexible, shock-absorbing, abrasion resistant and suitable for most industrial work-places.
  • However, PU has a limited shelf life when not in use and therefore, it is important to start wearing your shoes as soon as you receive them, preferably within 6 months from its manufacturing date
  • Stitching of the sole or non stitching of the sole.

What happens when price is the driving factor?

When the drive is to get cheaper safety boots/shoes then you risk the chance of giving the wrong safety boots, or boots that will not last for more than a year. When looking for safety boots make sure you know what your budget is and what the environment you will be using them in so that you are able to get the right products.

What happens when a new shoe is not worn for a long time

PU undergoes ageing deterioration called Hydrolysis wherein the moisture in the air causes a chemical breakdown resulting in the cracking or crumbling of the sole. This is accelerated in warm and damp areas with no circulation.

How to avoid Hydrolysis

  • Create an environment with proper ventilation and dry conditions in the storage.
  • The holes in the shoe box are meant for air-circulation, so keep the shoes in a single row with adequate space on both sides.
  • Follow FIFO (First In First Out) to ensure that the oldest material is issued first.
  • Maximum shelf life of unused footwear in the shoe box is 6 months, so move your inventory quickly.

Shoe Care when in use

  • Make sure you wipe your shoes regularly with dry cotton cloth to remove the dust and enzymes accumulating on the upper surface of leather.
  • Always use wax polish on your leather shoes at least once in a week. This will assist in increasing life span of the shoe by penetrating the leather surface and protects from moisture or water spills.
  • We must always understand the water repellent shoes are not water proof, so avoid getting your shoes drenched. When they are drenched please wipe the water off them after use.

The right way of wearing

  • Do not force your feet in and out of the safety shoes. Make sure they maintain the fit and comfort. Forceful wearing without opening the laces or without widening the instep can tear off the counter or seat portion and also damage the shoe-lining.
  • Loosen the shoe-laces completely, widen up the instep area, hold the tongue and insert the feet in a complete resting position. Tighten the laces as comfortable and you’re good to go!
  • Wear fresh socks every day to avoid build-up of harmful microbes that can cause fungal infection and foot odour

Your safety shoes protect you from slips, accidental falls, pierce and pinch injuries. Treat them with care so that they keep you safe.

Safety Shoes Supplier
Safety Shoes Manufacturer
Steel Toe Boots
Steel Toe Shoes
Safety Management

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