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  • FIRST POST
    • ScarletMarble
    • By ScarletMarble 16th May 17, 12:01 PM
    • 6,804Posts
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    ScarletMarble
    Can employer make us wear their own safety shoes?
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 12:01 PM
    Can employer make us wear their own safety shoes? 16th May 17 at 12:01 PM
    I work in retail and wear non slip shoes supplied by my employer. Not everyone wears them - but if you are moving, lifting and carrying heavy stuff - you do. Me and my colleagues find them the most uncomfortable things ever. One of them did ask could they wear their own non slip shoes. The HR dept and head office said no. Some of us think the uncomfortableness is causing problems in our legs and backs. I have a painful shin - the bone and had it X-rayed today. Find it difficult and painful to be on feet all day.

    What also may contribute to the ailments is our floor is hard tiles. The other shops in the area are (i know its not this) lino style which is kinder to the feet , legs and back. The shop is almost 40 years old. If it does need changing, the shop will have to close for a few days. I doubt it will happen as the shop is under going a mini refit and kept open.

    Is there anything we can do?
Page 1
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 16th May 17, 12:05 PM
    • 2,929 Posts
    • 2,730 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 12:05 PM
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 12:05 PM
    Yes they can insist you wear the safety equipment they provide but, having said that, it does need to bit fit for purpose and not cause other health issues.

    If somebody slipped and injured themselves whilst wearing their own inadequate footware the employer could be liable.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 16th May 17, 6:58 PM
    • 4,774 Posts
    • 6,002 Thanks
    theoretica
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 6:58 PM
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 6:58 PM
    Can you fit extra insoles into your safety shoes? Thay can do a lot to counteract hard floors. My safety shoes were a bit big anyway so insoles were an improvement.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 16th May 17, 7:05 PM
    • 4,635 Posts
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    iammumtoone
    • #4
    • 16th May 17, 7:05 PM
    • #4
    • 16th May 17, 7:05 PM
    If you are prepared to pay out for a pair of your own shoes spend the money on a decent set of insoles instead, this will probably be more of a help than a new pair of average priced shoes.

    Can/do you take your shoes home? Just asking as a lot of staff at our workplace buy their own insoles but there have been instances of them being stolen when the shoes have been left (in some cases people have spend £20 on insoles)

    Some staff are entitled to a pair of company purchased insoles but they have to have a medical with the staff nurse and a doctors note explaining the need to qualify. Most of the workers just choose to purchase their own for comfort.
    • ohreally
    • By ohreally 16th May 17, 7:30 PM
    • 6,099 Posts
    • 4,638 Thanks
    ohreally
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 7:30 PM
    • #5
    • 16th May 17, 7:30 PM
    I work in retail and wear non slip shoes supplied by my employer.
    Originally posted by ScarletMarble

    What have the customers to wear if the environment means its necessary for the staff to be wearing non slip, ok perhaps flippant but I doubt the foot wear is required, perhaps more management imposing their will.

    Does management view the footwear as PPE?

    Have concerns been on the agenda for team meetings?

    If the supplied footwear is not suitable you need to collectively pursue the matter with management, escalating beyond store level if necessary.
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 16th May 17, 7:57 PM
    • 5,559 Posts
    • 6,351 Thanks
    Takeaway_Addict
    • #6
    • 16th May 17, 7:57 PM
    • #6
    • 16th May 17, 7:57 PM
    I work in retail and wear non slip shoes supplied by my employer. Not everyone wears them - but if you are moving, lifting and carrying heavy stuff - you do. Me and my colleagues find them the most uncomfortable things ever. One of them did ask could they wear their own non slip shoes. The HR dept and head office said no. Some of us think the uncomfortableness is causing problems in our legs and backs. I have a painful shin - the bone and had it X-rayed today. Find it difficult and painful to be on feet all day.

    What also may contribute to the ailments is our floor is hard tiles. The other shops in the area are (i know its not this) lino style which is kinder to the feet , legs and back. The shop is almost 40 years old. If it does need changing, the shop will have to close for a few days. I doubt it will happen as the shop is under going a mini refit and kept open.

    Is there anything we can do?
    Originally posted by ScarletMarble
    The problem with wearing your own shoes is that if it is a large company which I think yours is from memory is that the employer is still responsible for those shoes being adequate. If everyone wanted to wear their own it would be ridiculous hassle!
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 17th May 17, 6:02 AM
    • 29,139 Posts
    • 17,425 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 6:02 AM
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 6:02 AM
    check if the supplier of the shoes has alternatives.
    • dickydonkin
    • By dickydonkin 17th May 17, 3:38 PM
    • 2,828 Posts
    • 2,846 Thanks
    dickydonkin
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 3:38 PM
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 3:38 PM
    I used to have this issue on a regular basis and with the will of the employer, it is so easily resolved.

    Everyone's feet are different so providing only one type of footwear is invariably going to cause problems for some.

    The employer is required by law to provide safety footwear where it is deemed as necessary - ideally a risk assessment would determine the level of protection required, however, as with so many employers, they will provide the cheapest option available - usually to the detriment of the wearer, and in many instances, will not protect from the inherent risks of a particular workplace.

    In my experience, PPE suppliers will provide samples of footwear for workers to trial and finding the right boot for the individual will not only create a happy worker, but will ensure conformance of the requirement to wear the footwear.

    If the employer is adamant that they will not be flexible on offering alternative protection, then perhaps a compromise may be available such as contributing towards a type of shoe that is acceptable to the user.

    If the employer is concerned about the type an individual may choose, inform him that you will purchase footwear with the same EN standard as those supplied by the employer.

    https://www.shponline.co.uk/safety-footwear-the-standards-and-ratings-explained/

    Not ideal, but this is a frequent occurrence and I can understand from the employers perspective that some control is necessary on what footwear their staff are wearing, however, with a sensible employer, this can easily be resolved, albeit not ideal, but is surely better than working all day feeling uncomfortable.

    Regarding the flooring, if you are working in one particular area for a prolonged period, ask your employer about anti-fatigue mats as these really do help with regards to static pressure placed on legs and the lower back.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by dickydonkin; 17-05-2017 at 3:41 PM.
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