Appropriate footwear is essential to the protection of feet against health and safety hazards at work. Appropriate footwear is worn to protect feet and decrease the risk of injury.

What is the risk?

The risks that can occur from wearing inappropriate footwear are:

  • Fractures
  • Crush injuries
  • Sprains
  • Cuts/lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Burns
  • Punctures
  • Hurting others
  • Slips, trips and falls

Who is at risk?

There are a number of roles in schools that may require working alone or in isolation from contact with other workers. These may include:

  • Teachers
  • Administration staff
  • Maintenance/ground staff
  • Contractors
  • Cleaners
  • Information Technology staff
  • Bus drivers

Injuries from inappropriate footwear can occur in:

  • Classrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Science labs
  • Workshops
  • Playgrounds
  • Ovals
  • Gyms
  • Art areas
  • Canteen
  • Outdoor areas
  • Stairs

Suggested strategies for appropriate footwear

  • Consider the tasks required for the day and whether the footwear is appropriate
  • A documented risk assessment should be undertaken to identify appropriate footwear requirements for specific activities or areas of work
  • Footwear should be suitable for the school environment including enclosed shoes which are well fitted with a good grip
  • Footwear must be appropriate for the workplace hazards (e.g. uneven playground surfaces, stairs, technology area, workshops, art areas, maintenance sheds).
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