Did you know that poor footwear is often the cause of serious falls? Footwear such as sandals, flip-flops, clogs, crocs and very high heels may be a fashionable option, but when worn in the wrong environment, can be very dangerous.
Slips, trips and falls in the classroom, hallways, office areas and outdoors are one of the most frequently reported (and expensive!) claims faced by organisations. Choosing correct footwear is the first step to preventing these types of accidents and their subsequent consequences.
Choose footwear that is appropriate to your occupation, working environment and feet.
Make sure that the footwear you select is comfortable, but also conducive to preventing you from slipping in your work area as well as adverse weather conditions.
Footwear that presents a high probability of slipping and falling includes:
Additionally, when purchasing new footwear, consider these tips to avoid slips and trips:
Choosing footwear from a host of products which are on the market can be difficult. With terminology such as ‘improved grip performance’ to ‘excellent multi directional slip resistance’. Usually footwear is described as slip resistant but with no indication on which surface and for what roles it would be suitable.
So when purchasing a number of factors need to be considered such as:
The final choice may have to be a compromise.
It’s always a good idea to check with your supplier whether the footwear you are interested in has been actually slip resistance tested. Where footwear has been tested, coefficient of friction (CoF) test values must be available. The higher the value the better the slip resistance.
The minimum requirements are set out in annex A of EN ISO EN ISO 20345:2011 to be replaced by ISO/FDIS 20345– footwear that has passed the for slip resistance test will be marked with the following codes:
SRA – tested on ceramic tile wetted with dilute soap solution
SRB – tested on smooth steel and glycerol
SRC – tested under both conditions
These tests are not wholly representative of all underfoot surfaces, so additional information will have to be sort to help identify the best footwear for a particular environment.
There are numerous factors which contribute to an individual slipping or tripping resulting in a fall. One of which is footwear. The term ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t apply in this case as everyone’s feet are different. So footwear needs to be carefully consider if buying in bulk as people will make their feelings known if they are expected to wear uncomfortable shoes for 8 hrs a day. If you are allowing personal to purchase footwear themselves then clear guidelines must be given to staff in relation to the requirements of the footwear you expect them to wear.