Boots 1, Plow Bits 0

Last year was the year of the employee, and to honor that, ITD rolled out its first-ever safety boot program. Though still in the process of being fully implemented, employees around the state are now walking around with a fresh set of footwear.

It ended up being perfect timing for Mel Fisher’s toes as he was changing out a plow bit back in January. The plow bit is the edge of the blade (usually a black strip) that is in contact with the pavement when the blade is being used.

“Fisher was encouraging the bit to come off when it broke loose and landed on the new boot,” said Fisher’s foreman, Shannon Thornton from Athol.

Plow bits, depending on if they are made of carbide, can weigh between 50 and 70 pounds. This bit only scraped the shoe’s side as the safety toe spared Fisher’s foot.

“The safety toe works,” Thornton said. “Rewind a year ago, and Fisher may not have been wearing those boots with a safety toe, and we could have had a serious injury.”

Judging by the photo above of where the boot deflected the plow bit, his little toe would have been in serious jeopardy.

Although away from work at the moment, Fisher now enjoys a new pair of winter work boots.

Published 04-26-19