Safety Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 3: Shop and Agricultural Workplace Safety

Safety Footwear

SPPM 3.16

For more information contact:
   Environmental Health and Safety

Form:  State of Washington Invoice Voucher


This section describes procedures for obtaining safety footwear for employees determined to be at risk of foot injuries in the performance of their duties.

Foot Protection

Safety footwear is available which protects against a variety of hazards. Common examples of hazards include:

  • Impact/compression of the toes or metatarsals,
  • Puncture of the soles or metatarsals,
  • Electric shock,
  • Slippery surfaces, and
  • Corrosive chemicals.

The employing department should consider safety footwear for occupations such as, but not limited to, carpenters, machinists, mechanics, plumbers, pipefitters, drywallers, welders, grounds-keepers, shipping and receiving clerks and warehouse workers.

When there is no specific hazard, the amount of funding for the purchase of safety footwear is at the discretion of the unit chair or director.


The supervisor conducts and documents a hazard assessment to identify exposed employees (see SPPM 2.60).

Supervisors may contact the applicable campus Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) department for assistance with hazard assessments.


When risks of foot injury are identified, employees must wear safety footwear which protects against those hazards.

The employing department must provide safety footwear to each employee exposed to hazards that could injure their feet. This requirement may be satisfied by purchasing appropriate footwear for each individual, or by providing detachable or disposable guards to employees exposed to foot hazards. Departments may select either alternative at their discretion, provided that either option adequately protects employees from the identified hazard(s) and does not create additional hazards.

Examples include, but are not limited to, removable safety toe caps or metatarsal guards, and disposable chemical-resistant booties. Note: Detachable metatarsal guards are typically metallic and not disposable unless contaminated. Disposable booties may provide chemical protection, but do not provide puncture, compression, and impact protection.

Hazard Evaluation Assistance

Campus Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) departments can assist supervisors and employees with:

  • Evaluating the potential for foot injury.
  • Determining if safety footwear is required and what type of protection is appropriate.

See Assistance.


Purchasing Options

WSU Pullman Shoemobile

All the WSU Pullman campus, Facilities Services, Operations schedules a mobile shoe service provided by a major shoe vendor.

The shoemobile visits the WSU Pullman campus semi-annually. Scheduled visits from the shoemobile vendor are advertised in advance of the visit.

At the time of fitting with the shoemobile vendor, employees must present a supervisor-approved Interdepartmental Requisition and Invoice (IRI). See BPPM 70.05.

WSU Vancouver Shoemobile

A shoemobile vendor visits the WSU Vancouver campus annually. Scheduled visits from the shoemobile vendor are advertised in advance of the visit.

The safety shoes are provided to each applicable employee at a cost allocated by WSU Vancouver Facilities Operations. WSUV Facilities Operations processes the purchase directly with the vendor.

Other Vendors

Employees at locations other than WSU Pullman and WSU Vancouver may purchase safety footwear from a vendor of their choice.

WSU Pullman employees not wanting to select safety footwear from the shoemobile may also purchase safety-toe footwear from a vendor of their choice.

Employees obtaining safety footwear in this manner may purchase the footwear with a department-provided purchasing card or submit documentation to the employing department for reimbursement.

Reimbursement Request

The documentation to request reimbursement includes all of the following:

  • A State of Washington Invoice Voucher (see Figure 1).
  • The original receipt.
  • Proof that the footwear meets the minimum specifications, e.g., the label or receipt (see Specifications).

The employing department processes this as a confirming purchase. See BPPM 70.20.

Temporary Employee and Student Protection

Departments are to ensure that temporary employees and students are protected from foot injury by requiring either of the following:

  • Safety footwear as a condition of employment or course work.
  • The use of detachable guards and/or footwear appropriate to the hazard(s), and provided by the department on a check-out basis  (see Exposure).


The type of safety footwear (e.g., safety boots, safety shoes) required is based on the hazard assessment conducted by the supervisor.

Contact the applicable campus EH&S department for assistance in determining the type of safety footwear that provides adequate protection for the expected worksite conditions and hazards.

Safety footwear must meet the specifications of one of the following consensus standards:

  • ASTM F-2412-18a: Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection; and
  • ASTM F-2413-18: Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear.

Both ASTM (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials) standards are under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee F-13: Pedestrian/Walkway Safety and Footwear.

  • ANSI Z41-1999: American National Standard for Personal Protection–Protective Footwear.
  • ANSI Z41-1991: American National Standard for Personal Protection–Protective Footwear.


For assistance contact the applicable campus EH&S, or campus Facilities Services, as indicated below:

WSU Pullman EH&S: telephone 509-335-3041
WSU Pullman Facilities Services: telephone 509-335-9000   
WSU Spokane EH&S: telephone 509-358-7621   

WSU Spokane Facilities Operations: telephone 509-358-7994

Note: WSU Spokane EH&S also provides information and assistance to WSU Health Sciences—Yakima (which includes College of Nursing—Yakima and College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences—Yakima).

WSU Tri-Cities EH&S: telephone 509-372-7163   
WSU Vancouver EH&S: telephone 360-546-9706
WSU Vancouver Facilities Services: telephone 360-546-9000   
WSU Everett Facilities: telephone 425-405-1566

Personnel at WSU locations not listed above may contact WSU Pullman EH&S or WSU Pullman Facilities Services for assistance.

Sample State of WA Invoice Voucher showing safety boot purchase
Figure 1

Revisions:  Apr. 2021 (Rev. 128); July 2010 (Rev. 85); Aug. 2006 (Rev. 67); Sept. 1999 (Rev. 24); June 1986 – new policy (Rev. 1).