Protective Footwear


Protective footwear represents a wide range of foot protection from "Safety-Toe Footwear" to proper work attire such as "Closed-Toe Shoes" (no sandals or open-toed shoes). The need for protective footwear depends on specific job tasks and their potential foot hazards. The area supervisor, using EHS as the hazard assessment resource, will determine appropriate protective footwear for specific job tasks and hazards.

It should be noted that that such protective footwear does not take the place of safe work practices and proper material handling equipment, which are always primary in the safe handling of materials and substances. Protective footwear is a secondary measure that is intended to prevent injury or reduce the injury severity in the event of an accident.

Safety-toe footwear are shoes which have a steel toe cap underneath the leather toe cap and protect the wearer's toe from moving or falling objects. Safety-toe footwear needs to comply with the requirements and specifications of the latest version of American National Standard for Safety-Toe Footwear, Z41.1. Examples of work which require safety-toe footwear are: warehouse operations; moving operations involving heavy equipment; work involving close contact with large animals; and jobs requiring work with certain chemicals.

Proper work attire may require the use of closed-toe shoes (no sandals or open-toed shoes) which are shoes with a closed heel and toe. In areas where corrosive materials are used, shoes must have leather or simulated leather uppers. This means no shoes with shoe top perforations or fabric materials. The shoes must have a separate sole of appreciable thickness and heels of rubber or non-skid material.

University Policy on Foot Protection

According to the University of Missouri Business Policy and Procedure manual, foot protection may be required where job conditions warrant. Examples of work which may require foot protection includes warehouse operations, moving operations involving heavy equipment, work involving close contact with large animals, jobs requiring work with certain chemicals.

Note: Protective toe footwear for employees shall meet the requirements and specification of the latest version of American national Standard for Safety Toe Footwear, Z41.1.

If You Need Protective Footwear

If you believe you need protective footwear the first thing you need to do is discuss this with your supervisor. If there is a question of protective footwear need for your specific job, the supervisor will arrange a risk/hazard evaluation with EHS. Each department has their own policy for use and acquisition of Protective Footwear.

EHS will be happy to provide additional information and support concerning the proper use and limitations of protective footwear. If you have any questions about Protective Footwear please contact David Dorth.