Safety Shoes is the most widely used common PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at any industrial site. KARAM is one of the largest manufacturers of safety shoes in India and we have received extensive user feedback over the years. This article intends to address some frequently asked questions and share good practices so that your safety shoes serve you better.
Common problems seen in shoes
-Cracking or Crumbling of the sole
-Loss of shape and poor fit
First let’s learn a little about the safety shoes
Basic construction of a safety shoe
Safety shoe is made of two main parts
Upper is usually made of leather
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.
Read “Sole Selection Guide” in next issue
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 air circulation.
How to avoid Hydrolysis
- Maintain proper ventilation and dry conditions in the store (eg. no seepage).
- 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.
- Wipe your shoes regularly with dry cotton cloth to remove the dust and enzymes accumulating on the upper surface of leather.
- Use wax polish on your leather shoes at least once in a week. This increases the shoe life by penetrating the leather surface and protects from moisture or water spills.
- Even water repellent shoes are not water proof, so avoid getting your shoes drenched. If they do become wet, immediately soak up the moisture inside-out using newspaper and allow to air-dry.
The right way of wearing
- Wearing of shoes is critical to 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 odor
Your safety shoes protect you from slips, accidental falls, pierce and pinch injuries. Treat them with care so that they keep you safe.