Is Foot Fungus an Occupational Hazard? Coping with Skin Infections Contracted While on the Job

Most people don’t spend their days pondering the risk of contracting foot fungus the way we do. But anyone who has suffered the uncomfortable malady is always on edge of developing an infection like athlete’s foot or onychomycosis (toenail fungus) again. For some groups of people, foot fungus can actually be considered an “occupational hazard.” With consistent exposure to conditions that promote the development of foot fungus, it is especially important for these demographics to take the necessary steps in making sure their feet are receiving appropriate attention and care.

foot fungus infections

When you’re working hard in closed-toe boots all day, you’re at risk for developing foot fungus infections.
Image Source: Alfred T. Palmer via

Maintenance Staff

Janitors and maintenance staff never know what sort of environment they’ll encounter. A toilet could overflow. A pipe could burst. Stormy weather could cause sewer water to flood an area. One thing you must always remember is this: wet feet equals foot fungus! So it’s no surprise that industrial and swimming pool maintenance staff, in particular, display an increased incidence of foot fungus.

“I have seen foot fungus issues from maintenance staff wearing damp boots instead of letting them dry, because they are provided only one pair of safety footwear a year and do not allow them to fully dry out after stormwater or sewage exposure,” writes Linda J. Sherrard for Occupational Health & Safety Online

(Previously, we wrote about 7 ways you can dry your footwear, so be sure to check it out!)

Combat Soldiers & Military Personnel

The term “trench foot” originated during World War I, when fungal infections spread like wildfire through troop populations. The British Army alone had some 20,000 casualties related to this condition. While modern troops may not die from a case of athlete’s foot, they are exposed to “significant levels” of bacteria and fungi. Antifungal creams and powders are marketed to military personnel, and brands like Defense Soap proudly report their contribution to the frontline. Meanwhile, soldiers are drilled to wear waterproof boots, grease their toes, and undergo regular foot inspections.

Farmers & Migrant Workers

foot fungus occupation

Foot fungus is one of many issues faced by guest workers, migrants, and farmers in America.
Image Source: Gary Coronado via

Working out in wet fields all day can pose many occupational hazards. According to La Cooperativa Campesina de California, “Migrant workers are at increased risk for contracting a variety of viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections.” Workers should wear breathable socks and change them several times a day. It also helps to have a back-up pair of boots to ensure the feet do not develop into the ideal damp environment for fungal growth.

foot fungus infection prevention

Put UV light in your work boots to sanitize your footwear and help prevent foot fungus infections.
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How to Protect Yourself from Foot Fungus

These are just a few of the occupations that put you at risk of developing a foot fungus infection. There is no reason to live in fear of a recurrence. The SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer is an excellent weapon in the fight against wet, unsanitary feet. Using our device for just 45 minutes a day will zap 99.9% of the fungi and bacteria living in your footwear, so they cannot replicate and infect your body. Users report that the SteriShoe UV device also dries out their footwear and cuts down on odor, too. Give the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer a risk-free try today.

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