Identifying Potential Hazards in the Workplace

Call it Murphy’s Law. Call it the law of averages. Call it an occupational hazard. The fact is, there’s no such thing as a completely safe workplace. Close to 1,000 Canadians die each year as a direct result of the job; however, studies indicate that number is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true extent of work-related deaths across Canada. Identifying potential hazards in the workplace is critical to reducing the number of on-the-job injuries. So is choosing the right footwear from the safety shoe store.

Nearly one third of all personal injuries in the workplace are the result of slips, trips and falls. The resultant injuries include head and back injuries, broken bones, cuts and lacerations, sprains and pulled muscles. Proper footwear can drastically reduce these types of workplace hazards. The question is, who determines the proper footwear you should be wearing? Safety shoe retailers trying to sell you protective footwear can list all the beneficial attributes of the footwear they sell; what typical safety shoe stores in Mississauga can’t possibly identify, for example, is all the potential hazards that exist in your workplace. That’s really a job for professionals who understand the scope of occupational safety hazards existing in your particular workplace.

The Health and Safety committees comprised of management and staff are often responsible for approving footwear based on a hazard assessment of the workplace. For example, if you are walking through a metal detector as part of your daily routine on the job, the committee may recommend that only metal-free shoes be allowed. In an environment where there is a high potential for slips and falls, the committee might suggest that only footwear meeting certain slip criteria be permitted to be worn. If there is a concern about footwear catching on industrial equipment, the workplace may specify no straps or buckles be allowed on the outside of the safety shoes.

The Canadian Standards Association has produced a user guide to help identify footwear that is appropriate when certain potential hazards are present in the workplace. Pro-active companies that make employee safety a priority are wise to provide guidance on footwear selection to ensure their staff will select the appropriate footwear – in other words, designs that meet the needs of their workplace. Most of these, including high-quality, Canadian made Mellow Walk safety shoes, are readily available at most safety shoe stores.

Of course, the possibility for human error will always exist. There are no accidents, only a series of bad decisions that lead to them. Buying Mellow Walk safety shoes for men and women is always a great decision.