A new school year brings plenty of excitement but also several safety challenges. Some of the most common workplace injuries in schools occur due to slips, trips, or falls. In addition to these hazards, standing for long periods can cause severe aches, blisters, calluses, fallen arches or sprains. Most schools have floors made of tile or other slippery surfaces, so it is imperative for teachers, administrators, custodians, food service workers and all school employees to regularly evaluate their work shoes and make sure they are right for the job.

Avoiding foot issues at work begins with a trip to the shoe store. When purchasing shoes, employees should first consider the sole of the shoe (the sole is the bottom part of the shoe that makes direct contact with the ground). All shoes come with varying types of tread on the sole; the more jagged or rough the tread, the safer it will be to walk on slick surfaces. Before you decide on a particular pair of shoes, test the sole to evaluate the traction of the shoe. For the inside part of the shoe, shock-absorbing insoles are a must if your job requires walking long distances or standing for long periods of time. For high heels or dress shoes, many stores offer inserts for the balls of the feet or arch support to help avoid discomfort.

Other considerations when purchasing shoes include:

  • Do these shoes suit the type of work environment I will be in?
  • Will they provide any protection from slips or falling objects?
  • Will I be able to stand in these shoes for an extended amount of time?

After asking yourself these questions to determine “if the shoe fits,” make sure to wear them for short periods of time to break them in. This step can help prevent the possibility of painful blisters and aching muscles during long work days.

Most of us are well aware of the dangers when walking on ice, but did you know that a large number of slips, trips and falls occur in warm and dry seasons as well? Avoid potential injuries from a slip, trip, or fall by always paying attention to your surroundings and being on the lookout for hazards such as breaks in pavement or uneven surfaces. If you’re wearing heels or dress shoes with slippery soles, consider bringing another pair of shoes to wear in areas that are more likely to cause slips, trips, or falls.

Slips, trips, and falls are a serious issue when it comes to workplace safety and health, but the good news is that hazards like these can be prevented by taking a proactive approach to shoe selection and paying attention to your surroundings when you’re on your feet.

Learn more about how you can stay safe at work. Visit www.worksafeky.com.