Content Coordinator, SHP Online

June 28, 2017

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Foot health

Foot health: Third of workers aren’t wearing appropriate shoes

A third of tradespeople are buying cheap and non-PPE specialist shoes for work on-site, a study has shown.

The new research also revealed 90% of workers feel the industry does not do enough to educate and promote the importance of foot health, despite half of UK tradespeople spending in excess of 9 hours a day on their feet.

The survey, conducted by footwear brand Dr. Martens and On The Tools, an online construction industry community, contacted over 600 tradespeople to determine whether foot health was a priority.

More than a third (35%) admitted to only spending between £20 and £60 on a pair of work boots, despite over half (53%) requiring S3 protection – the highest level of protection available on the market.

But 87% of workers worry about the condition of their feet in later life.

Education requirement

Global Category Manager at Dr. Martens, Jon Marchant, called the findings ‘extremely disappointing’ and believes resistance to investing in a good pair of work boots could be down to lack of education.

Hes said: “It’s worrying to learn that the trade industry doesn’t do enough to educate about the importance of foot health.

“This could explain why work boots are being perceived as an annoyance and an unnecessary expense, instead of a preventative measure to significant injury.

Culture shift

“This needs to change. We, as an industry, should be seeking to actively reduce the amount of life-altering injuries and improve workers’ health as a whole.

“The research clearly indicates that employers are a key source of information and could do more in terms of educating and encouraging workers to look after their feet. We’re urging employers to put foot health on their agendas and ensure their employees fully understand the importance of correct, comfortable footwear.”

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6 years ago

its an interesting fact, and I would have been interested to see a few more facts from the survey. As a health and safety professional, I consider the health of my feet equally to that of my hands, sight, hearing etc. More often than not, I feel drawn to review operatives foot wear on sites and recommend they change them to have better protection generally because their footwear is falling off their feet! There is a huge ignorance to the levels of protection provided by foot wear available for all industry backgrounds. As for the company I represent, in July… Read more »