Dust Off Those Boots – safety moment

In the course of my pest control work, I am required to wear many types of personal protective equipment (PPE). I have talked about how the hard hat is NOT my favorite. I am not a fan of wearing shoes either. I kick them off as soon as I get home. I know steel toed boots are necessary, and I wouldn’t want to go wandering around a client facility without them. Oh, the stuff you might step in!


At 7:00, on a Monday morning, I started working in a grain elevator. I was overwhelmed, trying to keep up with all the information being hurled at me. “You got this, right?”, said my trainer. “Uh, nope, but I’ll get it.”

Later, we walked across the top of the elevator to measure a bin. I placed my foot on what I THOUGHT was the last step. I grossly misjudged the distance. As my foot landed, I felt a “pop” in my ankle. (Don’t cringe. It didn’t hurt) I fell face first on to a grain bin lid, arms stretched out. My stomach hit the roof line. My coworker heard me holler and came to see what happened. I was mostly startled, and embarrassed.

While walking back to the office, my foot was getting hot, and my ankle was sore. I was afraid to take my boot off. When I did unlace that boot, I almost didn’t get my foot back in. I wasn’t wanting to tell my supervisor, but that’s what company policy dictates.


After a few doctor appointments, some testing, and a try at physical therapy, it was determined that I had broken my Talus bone. (That’s the one that makes your foot bend up/down) I spent 10 weeks in a cast. Luckily, no surgery – which is typical of that type of break. The doctor told me that it was a “good thing you had brand new boots on. That’s what held your foot and ankle in place”.


My takeaway from this experience…. ALWAYS…. ALWAYS keep your PPE in good condition and replace when necessary. It may not keep you from being hurt, but it will lessen the seriousness of the incident.

P.S. The day after I finished writing this post, I stepped on a nail that went through my boot into my foot. Hubby said “Get new boots. Those will leak water.”

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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