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Slip Resistant Footwear

Slip Resistant Safety Footwear

In the modern working environment slips and trips are a common cause of injury to employees and workers and such is the risk they can occur almost at any time and place within the work place. Injuries sustained can range from simple bruising to sprained or twisted ankles and in the most severe of cases injuries sustained can be as serve as broken bones which can in some instances lead to long term health and mobility issues. The slip hazard which todays worker is exposed too can be greatly reduced by wearing the correct fitting and appropriate safety shoes and boots.

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The reality of potential slip accidents

In truth choosing the right footwear alone will not prevent all slip accidents as there are many factors that cause and influence the potential risk of a slip accident occurring. Selecting the appropriate safety footwear can significantly reduce the risk of slipping accidents happening, however just by issuing good safety footwear with the correct slip properties will not alone eliminate the risk factor.

A full risk assessment must be conducted on site to assess the whole working environment as in a lot of instances the type of flooring and general routine good housekeeping within the work place can also help reduce the potential accident risk from this type of hazard. You must select carefully the type of footwear you decide to issue to employees as the tread pattern design on the chosen boots or shoes should surpass the minimum guidelines which are designated by the current European directives.

The standards and what to look out for when choosing your footwear

As already stated injuries from slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries to an employee in the work place. The main objective of choosing the correct slip resistant footwear is to try and significantly lower the potential risk of injury from a slip accident.

Wearing inappropriate safety footwear in the work place can be considered as one of the factors in a professional slip risk assessment. If it is deemed during the risk assessment that the safety footwear which is currently worn and issued is unsuitable and not fit for purpose, then a number of things need to be considered when deciding on the correct safety footwear for your employees.

  • Choose the correct tread pattern. It is worth noting that not all tread designs and patterns are fit for all terrains and therefore one particular style of footwear will not suit all occupations. If according to your risk assessment the floor area has the potential to become or is contaminated with liquids you really need to select a type of tread which pushes liquids away from the sole, this type of sole patterns work in a similar way to the treads you find on a car tyre..
  • Choose a style that delivers good comfort properties look for features that include shock absorbing heels and removable in socks. The shock absorbing heel will reduce the impact shock that the wearers foot experiences when walking. This reduction in impact shock helps reduce foot fatigue and helps deliver all day long comfort. Other comfort features you may want to look for when selecting your next pair include a moisture wicking lining, this helps draw moisture away from the feet and helps maintain a healthier environment for your feet to be in all day.
  • Choose a good flat and flexible sole unit were possible this may sound obvious but the more contact the sole has with the surface helps increase the grip whilst the flexible sole transfers better feel back to the wearer increasing the sensing of slippery surfaces and helping to reduce the slip hazard. You should also check the official slip rating of the footwear. All safety footwear conforms to the current PPE directive and is tested accordingly each style will have achieved a rating of SRA, SRB or SRC and you can then select the right style based upon the slip resistance rating awarded to the boots or shoes.
  • " Choose a style or brand which delivers good all day long comfort to the wearer and also looks great. Acceptance by the workforce is a key issue and it is well documented that safety footwear which has little aesthetic appeal or does not deliver good comfort will not be worn by employees. Employers should consider this when trying to reduce slip accidents. A workforce that is equipped with great looking and comfortable safety footwear will be more compliant with any changes in a companies safety footwear policy. Although footwear which delivers better wearer comfort and increased performance costs more per pair, the more costly styles tend to last longer than the cheaper styles and therefore in the long term can significantly reduce replacement costs that companies normally incur.

The standards and what to look for

All safety footwear which is sold and distributed in Europe conforms to the latest European PPE directive and must CE marked. According to this directive the styles of safety footwear that have been designed to prevent slipping should be manufactured with additional properties to ensure satisfactory adhesion by grip and friction. There are three levels of rating for footwear that has been produced to help prevent slips these ratings and overview of the tests are listed below.

  • SRA - Slip resistance on a ceramic floor tile with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate solution
  • SRB - Slip resistance on steel floor with glycerol
  • SRC - Slip resistance on a ceramic floor tile with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate solution and on steel floor with glycerol.
  • Most companies that choose to issue slip resistant safety boots and shoes tend to opt for those styles which have been tested to the SRC rating. The reason for this is that nowadays most reputable brands have their designs tested to this SRC level as it covers most requirements which are highlighted by on site risk assessments.

    This section has a wide selection of slip resistant footwear styles and to enable you to choose the correct style we have a clear and easy to view icons that clearly indicate which slip rating each design has achieved. We have a wide selection of models and you can choose from rigger boots to safety boots and steel toe cap trainers from a number of leading brands which include Dr Martens, Caterpillar and No Risk. If you need any assistance in choosing your next style then contact a member of our customer service team who will be happy to help you with your current and on going requirements.

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