Appropriate footwear is essential to the protection of feet against health and safety hazards at work, and is worn to protect feet and decrease the risk of injury. Injuries relating to inappropriate footwear can occur in a variety of circumstances, such as during:

  • yard duty
  • school drop off / pick up
  • science rooms / labs
  • workshops (metal and woodwork)
  • food technology labs
  • physical education classes
  • canteen functions
  • school excursions or overnight trips.

When considering appropriate risk controls, schools should begin by developing a Footwear Procedure and conducting a detailed risk assessment, both in consultation with employees and / or health and safety representatives. When carrying out the risk assessment it is important that Principals and employees discuss the following:

  • mandating particular types of footwear for high risk activities and environments based on the levels of risk associated with that task or activity (e.g. flat, closed toed shoes with good grip for yard duty)
  • promotion of the safety aspects of shoe choice in the school environment
  • the importance of setting an example for the students

To further prevent slips, trips and falls due to footwear, schools should recommend that their staff avoid wearing shows with the following characteristics:

  • slippery soles
  • poorly secured shows (e.g. thongs or sandals)
  • loose soles or laces
  • unstable heel.
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