Making the most of slip-resistant shoes means you need to understand what makes them slip resistant, how shoes are tested, but most importantly what type shoes are available. To prevent slip-and-fall accidents, every employer dealing with increased risks for falls, spills and/or wet/slick floors should mandate the wear of no-slip shoes. While no slip-resistant shoe can claim 100% effectiveness, specific criteria will definitely help point you in the right direction when looking for the most effective footwear for your employees.
Industries that frequently encounter hazards that warrant finding trusted distributors of slip-resistant shoes include food service/ restaurants/fast food, manufacturing, health care, construction, automotive, theme parks and hotels/hospitality. As you research and collect more information about slip-resistant shoes, keep the following in mind:
1. Go to trusted suppliers of slip resistant shoes to help avoid becoming part of the statistic that 15 to 20% of all workers' compensation costs come from slips, trips and falls.
2. Same-level slips/falls cost private industry more than $5 billion annually in direct costs alone, a figure that provides ample justification for investing in slip-resistant shoes.
3. The right no-slip shoes will help you avoid the average slip-and-fall injury costs of nearly $7,000 in lost compensation and medical costs.
Check the features and technology of non-slip shoes before buyingThe two features you should examine before you buy slip-resistant shoes online are the rubber compound outsole tread's space/depth and shape/design. Your shoes should maintain at least two millimeters space between the individual tread shapes and three millimeters of depth between the shoe's sole and the bottom of the tread. Non slip shoes will eventually lose their effectiveness when the tread wears thin, so employees should check soles frequently for excessive wear.
Understand the testing performed on all slip-resistant shoesTesting on slip-resistant shoes concentrates primarily on the coefficient of friction (COF) between different types of floor surfaces and shoe soles. Look for Brungraber Mark II test ratings advertised along with most no slip shoes. While not set in stone as a perfect coefficient, .40 or greater with the Brungraber Mark II test satisfies many as acceptable for slip-resistant shoes in many settings. The Mark II test ratings range from 0.0 (very poor) to 1.0 (extremely slip resistant).
Find a supplier of slip-resistant shoes that carries a line to match your needsTo ensure you and your employees get the right shoes, work with providers of slip-resistant work shoes that specialize in them. Makers of slip resistant shoes don't create all footwear with the same levels of protection. For example, a shoe that works well on petroleum oil might not work as well on cooking grease, and a shoe that performs effectively on water will not necessarily perform the same way on a greasy or soapy floor. If you don't see the ratings along with shoe descriptions, ask the company about them before you buy.
- If you haven't already, work with your legal counsel to institute a mandate for slip-resistant shoes at your workplace as part of your safety program. It will protect you, your employees and your company.