Trench foot is a painful ailment that affects the skin, tissue, and nerves in the feet. It is caused by prolonged exposure to damp conditions or lengthy immersion in cold, unsanitary water, and can result in numbness, swelling, discoloration, blistering, and bleeding under the skin. If not identified and treated in a timely manner, gangrene may set in.
Although trench foot is most commonly associated with the deplorable conditions faced by soldiers in World War I, it is still a threat in modern times. People who work in and around water, including loggers, fishermen, and sewer inspectors, as well as soldiers, sailors, and Coast Guard personnel, may all be at risk and should therefore take the following precautions to help prevent trench foot:
- Change into clean, dry shoes and socks as frequently as possible during the work shift
- Wear special waterproof sock liners to keep feet dry
- Sprinkle talcum powder on feet, toes, and the insides of shoes or boots
- Rotate between two or more pairs of work shoes or boots to ensure starting the shift with dry footwear
- Wash and dry feet thoroughly after work
Employers can also help prevent trench foot by making a boot dryer available at the workplace. CozyWinters sells both wall-mounted and portable industrial boot dryers that can dry from 2 to 60 pairs of boots quickly and completely. We also accept custom orders for nonstandard configurations and capacities, so don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your commercial boot dryer needs.
While certainly not as common as it once was, trench foot can still be an issue for workers and service people in positions that involve long-term exposure to water. Fortunately, the condition can be prevented by taking the precautionary steps listed above and using boot dryers in the workplace.