OSHA, ANSI and Shoe Cover Recommendations

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How Are OSHA and ANSI Involved in Shoe Cover Recommendations?

OSHA, ANSI and Shoe Cover Recommendations

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) publish standards for all manner of personal protective equipment (PPE). In the realm of safety shoe covers, there are at least two distinct areas of foot protection that are mentioned. They are concerned with safeguarding the “impact and compression” of the foot in industrial and construction situations. The other major area surrounds safety in medical, industrial, and laboratory environments. However, unlike with most other PPE areas (eye, face, hands, etc.), both organizations are less precise regarding shoe and boot covers.

For instance, ANSI standard Z41-1983 provides standards for shoe protection but is primarily concerned with “impact and compression” of the foot. From steel toe shoes and protective shoe covers to other hard shell protection, ANSI recommends levels of safeguard depending on workplace situations.

OSHA concentrates more on workplace safety and predominantly recommends protection against spills, biohazards, toxins, water, electricity, and, to avoid industrial accidents, non-slip features. Another consideration, particularly in medical and clean room environments, is the integrity of the disposable shoe cover dispenser. For reasons that should be obvious but are often overlooked, for shoe covers to fulfill their objective of protection of the wearer, other people and objects, the shoe covers used must be contaminant free prior to wear. Dispensers, therefore, should be kept as clean as possible also.

When purchasing shoe covers, make sure the product carries the designation of ANSI- and/or OSHA-approved. The material, design, color, and other features will then be your choice for type of protection and comfort, while you are confident that ANSI and OSHA guidelines have also been met.



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