Slip-Resistant Shoes – Helping Prevent One of the Most Common Work Injuries

Slips & falls are common causes of injury, both at home and at work. Certain occupations of course are at a higher risk of workers falling and injuring themselves from slipping on a slick surface.

This is especially common in restaurants.

Cooking grease from fryers, freshly cleaned floors and spills all pose slip and fall hazards in restaurants.

We’ve certainly seen many a workers’ comp claim where a restaurant employee slipped and broke a wrist or worse.

To help protect against these falls, slip-resistant shoes offer a cost effective solution. These types of shoes have a sole designed to grip slick surfaces.

Think about when you walk into a garage or smooth surface during a rainstorm…the slick surface sometimes causes you to lose your balance. If you’re wearing flip-flops for example, the smooth surface will not grip the surface as well as a pair of work boots.

A recent study led by the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group examined the factors that led to the adoption of slip-resistant shoes in restaurant workers. While many studies have shown slip-resistant shoes to reduce the number of workplace slips and falls, few have examined the determinants of wearing slip-resistant shoes.

In the study, 475 workers from 36 limited-service restaurants across the U.S. were surveyed. Managers of restaurants were asked if they provided slip-resistant shoes and if they didn’t, was any guidance on the shoes given to employees.

Other factors like kitchen floor coefficient of friction were measured. Slip-resistant shoes were identified by the presence of a “slip-resistant” marking on the sole.

Of the 475 workers, 320 (…or 67%) wore slip-resistant shoes. Use was lowest among the 15-19 year age group. Results from the study also showed that women were more likely than men to wear slip-resistant shoes. Use of slip-resistant shoes was lower when no guidance was given and the highest in workplaces that provided shoes.

The study concluded that providing slip-resistant shoes guaranteed high adoption. Considering the low- cost and effectiveness of these shoes, employers would be wise provide them for their workers.

Many needless injuries can be prevented by taking the right precautions. If you work in a restaurant or some other place where surfaces can be slippery, talk to your employer about slip-resistant shoes.