Safety Shoes – An Important Factor

Slips and falls represent nearly 11 percent of all workers compensation claims and over 13 percent of all claim costs.  In most industry groups, slips and falls represent the highest or second highest type of workers compensation claim.

Proper housekeeping and the installation of quality slip-resistant floor surfaces is the foundation of any slip/fall prevention plan.  Employee utilization of slip-resistant footwear is an additional important strategy for reducing the likelihood of a fall.  A slip-resistant footwear program should consider working environment, and whether footwear will be worn indoors or outdoors.

The two major components to consider when selecting an appropriate slip-resistant shoe are tread design and tread material.

The recommendations for tread design are:

  • Sole should have a raised-tread pattern on heel and sole with a leading edge in many directions.
  • Cleat width between 3 to 20 mm.
  • Channel width at least 2 mm.
  • Tread pattern should extend over whole sole and heel area.
  • Sole should have a flat, flexible bottom.
  • A square heel breast is recommended as opposed to a rounded edge.

Tread material is very important to slip resistance and where most slip-resistant shoe manufacturers cite differences between their products.  The tread material is usually a softer rubber material with slip-resistance benefits arising from the heel and sole conforming with the surface of the floor.  If a tread material is too hard it will not conform to the floor surface, and may not provide maximum slip resistance protection.

Please contact your FHM Loss Control Consultant for help with implementing a Slip-Resistant Footwear Program.

View FHM Insurance Company's profile on LinkedIn