When the COS team was at the National Safety Council’s conference in Indianapolis in September, one of the products that really stood out was Kickspike boot. These boots are the first to have retractable metal spikes to help keep workers safe on ice and snow. With a simple click of a button on the back of the boot, the spikes deploy and retract.
The boots are ideal for any worker who needs traction on ice and snow, such as delivery and postal workers, truckers and oil and gas workers. According to the company’s president Darrell Bachmann, they are a great alternative to traction devices that slip over a work boot.
“People don’t want to put traction devices on, and they won’t use them, or they won’t take them off when they are supposed to take them off…. (Companies) have had people, when they come inside because they did not take their traction devices off, slip and break legs,” says Bachmann, who is based in Vaughan, Ont. “It’s just as dangerous wearing that traction device on a cement floor.”
Kickspike is coming up on three years in the market and it is accident free — there has not been a single slip or fall on snow or ice with Kickspike, says Bachmann. One reason for this is the ease of use of the product — just the click of a button, on and off, he says.
The CSA Group is currently re-writing its foot protection standard to include Kickspike, says Bachmann. But because the composite safety toe is rated ASTM F2413-11, it can still be worn in Canada — it does not need to have CSA approval.
“Just last week I went through this with every WCB exec in every province and they all accept ASTM approval. So I have letters from WCB being written up now saying ‘Hey, we will accept any workplace injury if they have ASTM certified boots; you don’t need to have CSA boots,’” Bachmann says. “In our minds, everyone’s minds, you have to have CSA approval to sell a safety product in Canada. Not true. Not true. I can’t believe it.”
All spikes are easily replaceable with the tool provided and built with energy return and shock absorption to fight fatigue. The composite-toe waterproof boot warms with Thinsulate Ultra Insulation and the Dri-Lex lining fights sweat to keep feet dry. The removable double density foot bed adds cushioning and stability.
Kickspike was originally made for golf shoes so that golfers could go from tee to green. Bachmann appeared on CBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2008 and he signed the show’s first $1-million deal with all five dragons. But when Bachmann was at a PGA merchandise show in Orlando, the president of the United States Postal Service said he needed Kickspike for his postal workers. This prompted Bachmann to review his business plan and he decided to switch gears into the work boot business.
This article originally appeared in the December/January 2018 issue of COS.