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Comment PDF Environment, Health, Safety & Security

Choosing Footwear for Chemical Working Environments

By Xavier Kawula, Honeywell Industrial Footwear |

Selecting footwear for plant personnel is not a “one size fits all” situation — various factors must be considered to ensure the best shoe for a specific application Chemical manufacturing plants generally have questions about their overall safety protection program, of which footwear is a foundation (Figure 1). Employers and workers want to avoid injuries while on the job, but standing for long periods of time can lead to tired, accident-prone feet. So which product features, especially when working with chemicals, should plants take into consideration when it comes to shoes?   FIGURE 1. A variety of product features are available when selecting industrial footwear, and special consideration must be taken to choose the best shoe for a specific chemical-handling job[/caption]   Chemical compatibility The chemical compounds used in footwear have basic affinities or lack of affinities for certain chemicals, based on how they are made. Chemicals similar to the compound from which the footwear is constructed make that compound break down faster. For example, rubber, a common material used in footwear, is petroleum-based. Therefore, any substance that has oily content, such as gasoline or cutting oils, is going to…
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