Workers Compensation

Why Shoes Are More Than Just A Fashion Statement: Workplace Safety Awareness

When it comes to workplace safety awareness and preventing a slip and fall accident, you have to start from the bottom up– literally. Shoes are the cornerstone in saving you, the employer, money, as well as saving your employees from potential injury.

Shoes And Workplace Safety Awareness

An employee has a slip and fall accident at work that requires him or her to take time off of work and endure an expensive surgery. That’s why you have worker’s compensation insurance – to pay for the cost of a claim. Not a problem, right?  Wrong. Your indirect out-of-pocket cost of a workers’ compensation claim can be 2 to 5 times greater than the costs paid by the insurance company. Believe it or not, paying attention to your employee’s shoes can help you keep that money in your pocket. The negative impact of a slip and fall accident for employers include:

  • Loss of the employee from work shift
  • Having to spend time filling in the gap – finding other employees to take over that work; poor efficiency and productivity.
  • Needing to cover the cost of training a substitute worker.
  • Paying overtime cost
  • Failure to meet deadlines and fill orders
  • Losing business due to lost employee
  • Cost of downtime on day of accident – employee distraction
  • Accident investigation time lost by supervisor and management
  • Loss of reporting time and claim handling time
  • Damage to tools, equipment and facilities due to the accident
  • OSHA fines.
  • And more!

The list goes on and on and there is a cost associated with each item. However, you can easily avoid most of this by paying attention to what shoes your employees are wearing as part of your workplace safety awareness policy. If you can prevent the slip and fall accident, you will never have to pay these indirect costs.

Are You Wearing The Right Shoes To Prevent A Slip And Fall Accident?

Shoes supply both traction and support for you while you walk, the same support and traction that will help you catch yourself if you start to trip. When examining your employees’ shoes, ask yourself these questions to help prevent a slip and fall accident:

  • Does the employee wear the right shoe for the job?  Correct shoe choice applies to all industries – construction, manufacturing, retail, office environments.  For instance, wearing sneakers in a steel fabrication shop doesn’t offer protection if a heavy object is dropped.
  • Do the shoes fit?  Obviously, loose, ill-fitting shoes can’t provide support.
  • Are the shoe soles in good condition and adequate for the work at hand?  The right shoe for the job that has worn out soles can’t provide enough traction.

Key Takeaways

As an employer, you get to make the rules. Create a workplace safety awareness policy that requires the correct shoe for the job, including a statement addressing the condition of soles. You can also prohibit employees with incorrect, poorly fitting, worn-out shoes from working, as well as dictate which shoe style, heel size, and sole style are permissible. However, if you choose to follow this advice, you will want to provide them with an example of what shoes are permissible in the workplace, as well as where to buy them. Finding the right shoes for your company may take a bit of research, but there are quite a few solutions available. For us, a few of our favorite resources include:

Even better, quite a few of these examples offer a cost incentive program for larger employers! This is just another benefit to having work safety awareness and educating your staff about the proper shoes they should be wearing. Keep in mind, this includes office environments since an officer worker can slip and fall just as easily as a construction worker. Saving money is up to you. A few moments of inspection and workplace safety awareness can save both you and your employees from months of pain, as well as keep  you workers’ compensation indirect costs in your pocket. This is a win-win for all parties involved.

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