Bare Fet and OSHA


BAREFOOTERS sometimes hear that customers having bare feet in a business establishment is in violation of an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulation. It is not. OSHA regulates only employees, not customers. Even so, OSHA requires footwear only in special circumstances. When it is required, it must meet specific standards and criteria. Therefore, there is no OSHA regulation preventing employees in many businesses to be able to work barefoot.

OSHA only has the following regulations that make any reference to footwear:

1910.94 - Ventilation
  (a)(5)(v) Safety shoes shall be worn to protect against foot injury where heavy pieces of work are handled. Safety shoes shall conform to the requirements of American National Standard for Men's Safety-Toe Footwear, Z41.1-1967, which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6.
1910.136 - Occupational foot protection
  (a) General requirements. The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, and where such employee's feet are exposed to electrical hazards.
  (b) Criteria for protective footwear.
  (1) Protective footwear purchased after July 5, 1994 shall comply with ANSI Z41-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection-Protective Footwear," which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally effective.
  (2) Protective footwear purchased before July 5, 1994 shall comply with the ANSI standard "USA Standard for Men's Safety-Toe Footwear," Z41.1-1967, which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally effective.
1910.156 Fire brigades
  (ii) The employer shall assure that protective clothing protects the head, body, and extremities, and consists of at least the following components: foot and leg protection; hand protection; body protection; eye, face and head protection.
  (2) Foot and leg protection.
  (i) Foot and leg protection shall meet the requirements of paragraphs (e)(2)(ii) and (e)(2)(iii) of this section, and may be achieved by either of the following methods:
  (A) Fully extended boots which provide protection for the legs; or
  (B) Protective shoes or boots worn in combination with protective trousers that meet the requirements of paragraph (e)(3) of this section.
  (ii) Protective footwear shall meet the requirements of 1910.136 for Class 75 footwear. In addition, protective footwear shall be water-resistant for at least 5 inches (12.7 cm) above the bottom of the heel and shall be equipped with slip-resistant outer soles.
  (iii) Protective footwear shall be tested in accordance with paragraph (1) of Appendix E, and shall provide protection against penetration of the midsole by a size 8D common nail when at least 300 pounds (1330 N) of static force is applied to the nail.
1910.269 - Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution
  (3) "Sprayers and related equipment."
  (i) Walking and working surfaces of sprayers and related equipment shall be covered with slip-resistant material. If slipping hazards cannot be eliminated, slip-resistant footwear or handrails and stair rails meeting the requirements of Subpart D may be used instead of slip-resistant material.
1910.1029 - Coke oven emissions
  (h) Protective clothing and equipment - (1) Provision and use. The employer shall provide and assure the use of appropriate protective clothing and equipment, such as but not limited to:
...
  {iv} Footwear providing insulation from hot surfaces for footwear;
  {v} Safety shoes which comply with 1910.136 of this part;
1915.35 - Painting
  (b)(7)(9) The face, eyes, head, hands, and all other exposed parts of the bodies of employees handling such highly volatile paints shall be protected. All footwear shall be non-sparking, such as rubbers, rubber boots or rubber soled shoes without nails.
1915.156 - Foot protection
  (a) Use. The employer shall ensure that each affected employee wears protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects or objects piercing the sole.
  (b) Criteria for protective footwear.
  (1) Protective footwear purchased after August 22, 1996 shall comply with ANSI Z41-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection-Protective Footwear," which is incorporated by reference, as specified in Sec. 1915.5, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally as effective.
  (2) Protective footwear purchased before August 22, 1996 shall comply with the "American National Standard for Personal Protection-Protective Footwear Z41-1983," which is incorporated by reference, as specified in Sec. 1915.5, or shall be demonstrated by the employer to be equally effective.
1917.94 - Foot protection
  (a) The employer shall direct that employees exposed to impact, falling objects, or puncture hazards wear safety shoes, or equivalent protection.
  (b) Protective shoes shall bear identifying marks or labels indicating compliance with the manufacturing provisions of American National Standard for Men's Safety Toe Footwear, ANSI Z41.1-1967.