How The Right Choice Of Safety Footwear Can Prevent Twisted Ankles At Work, Protect Employees & Save Hard Cash.
An Overview On Safety Footwear Preventing Injuries
One of the most frequent causes of injury to the lower body are accidents resulting from slips, trips and falls, also known as STF accidents. These accidents commonly happen due to objects being left lying around, uneven floors and elevated workstations.
In almost every sector lurks potential hazards, causing accidents that can occasionally result in serious injuries or fatalities.
- The construction industry.
- The agriculture and waste disposal industry.
- The steel and packaging industry.
- The field of logistics within package delivery companies
Here, it is employees’ feet that are particularly at risk. This can result in extended periods of absence, or in the worst-case scenario, permanent incapacity or death. As a result, employers can incur enormous costs, legal fees and return to work (physio & podiatrist) expenses. If an employee cannot work for several weeks, this poses a risk of production losses, projects might be postponed or orders may remain unprocessed. In turn, this poses the threat of significant financial losses, which may endanger the very existence of a small company.
Twisted Ankles Are One Of The Top Occurring STF Accidents
It happens in a matter of seconds – an employee loses his footing, twists his ankle and injures himself. With serious consequences for all those involved. It is therefore clearly apparent that in professions whereby there exists an increased risk of STF accidents and twisted ankles—special protections must be afforded to employees’ feet. This is the only way that a company can keep its entire workforce operational.
Manufacturers of safety footwear like ELTEN offer solutions for this very problem – however, not all are equally suitable when it comes to providing permanent and reliable protection for employees’ feet. In this summary below, we provide information regarding the hazards posed by STF accidents, and particularly twisted ankles, including addressing potential financial consequences. In addition, we can demonstrate how these potential accidents in a study by ELTEN can be effectively prevented and how money can ultimately be saved.
What Causes STF Accidents At Work?
Smooth floor surfaces, steps, ladders, ramps and platforms are common triggers for STF accidents. However, various ground properties, weather conditions or uneven surfaces can pose a hazard. According to an ELTEN study, over 45% of all STF accidents occur when walking on even surfaces at work – in these cases, the floor or surface is often too smooth or is contaminated.
Can The Right Safety Shoe or Work Boot Prevent Ankle Injuries?
Accidents involving twisted ankles occur particularly frequently in the:
- Construction, logistics, waste disposal and agricultural sectors.
- Steel and packaging industry, and package delivery companies.
Added to this is the fact that an increasing number of employees are being deployed in particularly at-risk work areas wearing not suitable steel cap boots or safety shoes. With the number of accidents in these areas, the need for appropriate solutions has increased dramatically.
An ankle twist is something that happens quickly: an employee unexpectedly misses a rung when climbing a ladder, or loses his footing on the ground when jumping down from the driver’s cabin. Often it takes but a fraction of a second to twist an ankle at work. However, walking on an uneven surface can also result in a twisted ankle. This can ultimately result in ankle strains or breaks, or complicated ligament and ankle joint injuries. What’s more, a twisted ankle can also be the primary cause of subsequent serious injuries, such as stumbling into machines or falling from a height.
With regard to the avoidance of accidents as a result of twisted ankles in the workplace, along with the resulting injury to employees, the focus is often placed on the fundamental design of the respective workstations: nonslip treads, labelling of hazardous areas or the correct lighting are important starting points in this regard. However, also of vital importance is the equipping of each individual employee with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) with the endorsement of podiatrists & work place safety specialists.
High-Quality Foot Protection In Work Boot Technology Opens Up New Possibilities
Alongside classic safety features in work boots & safety shoes such as toecap protection and penetration-resistant midsoles, modern foot protection also offers features such as non-slip outsoles that provide more grip on slippery or smooth floor surfaces. However, to minimise the risk potential, especially with regard to twisted ankles, requires additional equipment.
In the standards to be complied with concerning safety footwear, there are no requirements regarding ankle-twist protection, however, manufacturers have recognised the necessity and have developed preventative solutions.
A taller and more rigid shaft is often deployed to provide the ankle area with the necessary stability. However, this can quickly constrict the foot, and under certain circumstances can cause painful pressure points, or in extreme cases restrict the circulation. This is because the rigid construction does not perfectly follow the natural direction of movement of the lower leg and thus restricts the freedom of movement. This can cause the muscles to become sluggish, thus failing to sufficiently fulfil their natural stabilising function. As a result, as soon as rigid joint protection such as this is removed, the risk of injury can ultimately become even higher. Added to this is the fact that, in traditional safety boots with a high shaft, a crease can typically form in the ankle area when walking – this type of material fatigue can also result in the loss of some of the required stability.
The Solution = BIOMEX Protection© Safety Boot Technology
A logical alternative, which has proven effective in such situations, is the use of special cuffs that stabilise the ankle joint and simultaneously adapt to the natural movements of the foot and knee joints. safety footwear manufacturer ELTEN offers precisely this type of joint protection solution— BIOMEX Protection© Technology for steel cap & composite toe cap boots.
The Protective Risk Reduction Properties Of Safety Boots
Alongside joint protection, there are other properties that are also crucial in avoiding STF accidents. It is important to consider optimal fits, such as length and width, just as the special requirements of the workstation must be taken into account. Smooth and slippery floor surfaces, for example, require a non-slip sole on a work boot (SRC certified) – a rough tread profile is recommended when walking on deep and uneven soils.
The R-Evolution of Ankle Protective Safety Boots
BIOMEX Safety Guard
The flexible boot shaft cuff made from durable plastic is securely “anchored” in the midsole area of the work boot. When tensile and pressure forces then act simultaneously on your ankle area – as is frequently the case in the event of ankle twists – it gives the foot stability. Because the cuff is positioned in front of the lateral ligamentous complex, it protects against twists and impact. It wraps around the outside of the heel area and the ankle joint, which means the foot is not constricted and there are no pressure points or impairments to the circulation.
What’s more, thanks to the mobile construction of the cuff, BIOMEX Protection© for steel & lightweight composite toe cap boots follows the natural, asymmetrical direction of movement of the lower leg. For, contrary to what one might expect, when the knee bends – when walking for example - the lower leg does not move straight, but rather in an inward direction, towards the centre of the body: the functional axis of the foot is generally turned 30 degrees towards the inside.
The BIOMEX axis corresponds to this natural axis of movement, and thanks to two angled centres of rotation in conjunction with the muscles, tendons and joints of the foot, the shaft follows the natural movement of the lower leg, unhindered. The lightweight BIOMEX cuff thus mirrors the movement of the wearer in such a way that he need not work against it. As a result, freedom of movement is retained, the naturally asymmetrical pattern of movement is not restricted and the roll behaviour of the foot is even improved.
And there’s more: the system’s special biodynamic construction supports the body’s natural muscular reaction and protection mechanisms and gives the wearer more time to counteract the twist.
BIOMEX Protection© Prevents Ankle Twisting & Reduces The Severity Of The Injury If An Accident Were To Occur.
Read more on our BIOMEX Ankle Work Boots in store: