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Foot Health for the OSH Environment

There are certain standards to be observed when it comes to Occupational Safety and Health. For the most part, and understandably so, saA person working in a manufacturing plantfety is the essential focus by organisations. However, health is as important, especially when it pertains to the feet.

We see a large number of persons when invited to Health and Safety Fairs, particularly those on the industrial estates and in the Energy sector companies. Because of safety regulations, most personnel (including administrative staff), who occasionally pass through plants, or make site visits, have to wear safety boots – steel tipped most times. These personnel, needless to say tend to have numerous problems.

 Your ability to use your feet safely, with ease and comfort, is vital if you are to remain a valuable and productive worker.

When your job requires you to stand on your feet for long periods, work in potentially hazardous areas, or with potentially hazardous materials, you have some risk of foot injury. However, you can do a lot to prevent injuries by keeping your feet healthy and following safe work practices. You can’t take your feet for granted! And your concern for them cannot be divided; it should be at work, and continue off the job as well.

Protective Footwear Is Essential

Safety shoes and boots protect your feet, help prevent injuries to them, and reduce the severity of injuriSafety Gear including Bootses that do occur in the workplace.

Unfortunately, according to the National Safety Council, only one out of four victims of job-related foot injury wear any type of safety shoe or boots. The remaining three are either unaware of the benefits of protective footwear, or complain about it.

Some safety footwear are comfortable, flexible, stylish, and still provide protection from injury. However, due to the cost factor, most companies invest in cheaper safety boots to reduce their outlay.

In industry, the foot is the most valuable part of your body subjected to injury. Because of the many potential work hazards, it is important that you discuss with your supervisor the safety shoe, boot, or other protective equipment that you need for your protection.

 If Your Feet are Injured at Work

Report your injury to your foreman or supervisor promptly for necessary first aid. Then see your podiatrist if further treatment is recommended. Proper foot care improves your efficiency and keeps you on the job.

Treatment Tips

 RICE is the first step.

  • * Rest – Cut back on your activity, and get off your feet.
  • * Ice – Gently place an ice wrapped in a towel, on the injured area in a 20-minute-on , 90-minute-off cycle.
  • * Compression – Wrap a bandage around the area, taking care not to pull it too tight.
  • * Elevation – Sit in a position that you can elevate the foot higher than the waist, to reduce swelling and pain.
  • * For bleeding cuts, cleanse well, apply pressure with gauze or a towel, and cover with a clean dressing. It’s
  •   best not to use any medication on the cut before you see the doctor.
  • * Leave blisters unopened if they are not painful or swollen.
  • * Foreign materials in the skin, such as slivers, splinters, and sand, can be removed carefully with a sterile
  •   instrument. A deep foreign object, such as broken glass or a needle, must be removed professionally.
  • * Treatment for an abrasion is similar to that of a burn, since raw skin is exposed to the air and can easily
  •   become infected. Cleansing is important to remove all foreign particles. Sterile bandages should be applied,
  •   along with an antibiotic cream or ointment.

Your physician/podiatrist/chiropodist/foot health practitioner has been trained specifically and extensively in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of foot conditions. This training encompasses all of the intricately related systems and structures of the foot and lower leg, including neurological, circulatory, skin, and the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. So follow the instructions given to you and avoid the temptation to do it yourself if a situation arises.

Also, visit your podiatrist regularly, so that you can ensure for yourself a lifetime of pain-free feet.

Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!

 

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