Duration of slip-resistant shoe usage and the rate of slipping in limited-service restaurants

Results from a prospective and crossover study
Several studies have indicated that slip-resistant shoes may have a positive effect on reducing the risk of slips and falls, a leading cause of injury at work. Few studies, however, have examined how duration of shoe usage affects their slip-resistance properties. This study examined the association between the duration of slip-resistant shoes usage and the self-reported rate of slipping in limited-service restaurant workers. A total of 475 workers from 36 limited-service restaurants in the USA were recruited to participate in a 12-week prospective study of workplace slipping. Of the 475 participants, 83 reported changing to a new pair of shoes at least once during the 12-week follow-up. The results show that slip-resistant shoes worn for less than six months were moderately more effective than those worn for more than six months. Changing to a new pair of shoes among those wearing slip-resistant shoes at baseline was associated with a 55% reduction in the rate of slipping (RR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.23-0.89). Further research is needed to develop criteria for the replacement of slip-resistant shoes. Practitioner Summary: The duration of usage impacts the slip-resistance properties of slip-resistant shoes. Slip-resistant shoes worn for less than six months were moderately more effective in reducing slips than slip-resistant shoes worn for more than six months. Shoe use policies should not only encourage or require their use but also include guidance on replacing slip-resistant shoes at regular intervals.

Source: Verma SK, Zhao Z, Courtney TK, Chang WR, Lombardi DA, Huang YH, Brennan MJ, Perry MJ. Ergonomics, 2014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2014.952348
 

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