WorldWide Drilling Resource

19 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® FEBRUARY 2021 These Boots are Made for SAFETY Adapted from Information by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health An old song once said, “These boots are made for walkin’,” good enough for everyday wear. However, in the mines, the better slogan is, “These boots are made for safety.” According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), after analyzing Mine Safety and Health Administration data, about 22% of all nonfatal injuries reported were associated with slip, trip, and fall (STF) hazards. Each STF incident led to an average of 60 lost workdays. Although many factors may contribute to these accidents, one simple thing can help to minimize the mine worker’s risk of an STF: regular examination of work boots. NIOSH investigated work boot wear and tear and in the process, discovered the main reason miners felt their boots were not usable anymore was they were no longer waterproof. This was primarily because of separation of the outer sole from the upper part of the boots and not related to wear on the sole. However, there are actually six different types of damage poten- tially compromising the integrity of work boots: separating soles; torn insulaton; external damage; tears, holes, or cracks; worn treads; and internal damage. Knowing and recognizing these signs will help workers determine when to replace their boots. Regular in- spection of boots for signs of wear or damage is key to staying safe. For workers on thei r feet and moving around, boots will wear out much quicker than those for someone in a more stationary job. Some signs are obvious, while oth- ers require a closer inspection. The most obvious is the soles separating from the boots, increasing the risk of trips and falls. This is the reason most often mentioned by workers for replac- ing worn work boots. While examining the soles, workers should look at the tread. Worn tread can reduce grip and traction. Other external damage not relat- ed to the boots’ soles can increase the likelihood of punctures to the upper part of the foot. Still another external hazard is tears, holes, or cracks, which can reduce electrical resistance. Work boots also require internal examination. The toe caps could be damaged, and torn insu- lation could introduce moisture. If work boots exhibit any of the damaged or worn signs, it’s time to get a new pair to prevent a slip, trip, or fall! MIN Internal damage. External damage. April Issue Deadlines! Space Reservation: February 25 th Display & Classified Ad Copy: March 1 st