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Construction workers in the UK suffered approximately 66,000 non fatal accidents a year since 2013, according to HSE (the Health and Safety Executive).

OK, so obviously not all of them are foot-related so they couldn’t all be avoided by safety footware, but many can.

Puncture Wounds to Feet

Stepping on sharp objects is a very real danger, whether it is nails pointing through a plank of wood, or sharp tools being left out on site.

This xray from shows a small sharp tool penetrating through the sole of the shoe and embedding itself deep in to the foot. Nasty, painful and costly in terms of time off work. A good pair of safety shoes or boots would protect the wearer from foreign objects puncturing their soles.

Puncture wound to foot

Foot Puncture Injury X-Ray – Image courtesy of

Now of course you can full understand how the picture above may happen, but this next picture from does take some seeing to believe! We don’t suggest this injury is likely to happen to you, while you are DIYing, but it just goes to prove how a seemingly innocuous object can become a damaging one!

Car keys in foot

This car key has gone right into the foot – Image courtesy of

Even a car key is able to penetrate an unprotected foot – imagine how easy it is for a 3 inch nail to puncture a trainer (and then the foot inside it)!

Crush Injuries

Obviously there are lots of heavy things around when you are working on a building site. Dropping a brick on your toe when you are wearing flip flops – makes you wince, but is still slightly funny to think about. What about a steel lintel or a piece of machinery squashing you unprotected foot though?

This image shows what damage can be done by a crush injury, and if this person had been wearing safety shoes he may still have all his toes intact.

Crush injury to foot

Crush Injury to the foot can result in losing toes – Image courtesy of

Chemical and Electrical Burns

Home Improvers, and builders are working with chemicals: like lime in concrete, caustic cleaning agents and acidic products like brick cleaners, all the time.

It has become second nature for construction workers and home improvers to don gloves and masks to avoid dribbling chemicals on themselves and inhaling the fumes, but of course although the hands are the most vulnerable to this type of burn, your feet are also at risk from drips, spills and from walking into spilt liquids.

Electrical burns are also a very real danger on a building site – even if that building site is your own home. This image shows a foot after suffering an electrical burn. Really nasty – you will want to avoid this happening to you!

Electrical burn to foot

Full thickness electrical burn to a foot – Image courtesy of

Fashion trainers are not going to withstand this sort of abuse, they will not offer protection from electricity and they can allow corrosive fluids to reach the skin. With potentially disastrous results, and certainly very uncomfortable ones!

Safety Shoes are Cool

So safety boots and safety shoes used to be heavy, uncomfortable and ugly, but these days manufacturers like Dr Martens have been working hard on making them more comfortable and even more physically appealing, while keeping the safety integrity

Dr Martens safety boot

Dr Martens light industrial safety boot

Find out more about DMs Lite Industrial Safety Boots, in our product review of Dr. Martens from the Dr of DIY!

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