The role of footwear in preventing slips, trips and falls

slips
A fall in a public place or at work can be a very distressing and humiliating event. It can become a serious issue in the workplace when injuries occur as a result of slips, trips and falls. 23% of all accidents in the Australian workforce are classified in the slips, trips and fall category, with over half of these being caused by environmental agencies! *
Environmental factors can include slippery surfaces following rain or spills, poorly designed or maintained walkways and poor lighting. Feeling sure footed in the workplace is essential. Wearing appropriate footwear is the most effective method of ensuring a safe workplace to prevent slips, trips and falls.
So what are the critical features of a shoe to prevent workplace injuries?

environment

1. It must be Fit for Purpose

When selecting and purchasing footwear for work, you should make sure it is fit for purpose. Ask yourself the following questions when trying on shoes:
What type of environment will I be working in?
Are you working inside a factory, or out in the field? How often are you on your feet? Do you need protection from the elements, or is ventilation important to prevent over heating?
What floor conditions will I be working on?
Is it smooth and firm, or loose terrain? Is the ground dry or can it sometimes be wet?
What materials or liquids might I come in contact with?
Do you come in contact with oils and soap? This can provide more of a slippery surface than water. Do you work with chemicals that degrade certain materials quickly?

surface

2. It must have the appropriate level of slip resistance

The majority of slip accidents occur on wet or contaminated surfaces. Footwear alone will not eliminate slip on contaminated surfaces, making it impossible to make footwear ‘non-slip’ or resistant to slip under all conditions. Selecting footwear with an appropriate tread pattern or surpassing a slip rating, however, will help minimise the risk of slipping.
In Australia there are three slip resistant ratings:
SRA- Slip resistance on ceramic tile floor with SLS ‘Water on Tiles’
SRB- Slip resistance on steel floor with glycerol ‘Oil on Metal’
SRC- Slip resistance on ceramic tile floor with SLS AND on steel floor with glycerol

shoe

3. It must be comfortable

Our feet are the only point of contact that we have with the ground, and the forces from the ground can be felt all the way up our legs to our back. Comfortable, supportive footwear can reduce the stress in our muscles and ligaments. Not only that, but footwear with anti-fatigue properties allows you to work on your feet for much longer periods. Look for the following attributes to reduce fatigue and minimise the risk of falls.
Good Cushioning
It is ideal to have multiple layers of cushioning under the heel and forefoot. Avoid shoes that are too soft and provide little support.
Stable Platform
A firm heel counter and stable midfoot allows the shoe to work with the foot during the gait cycle. Good torsional stability protects the foot from excessive pronation.
Flexibility
The shoe needs to flex in the correct place at take-off. All too often footwear does not meet this need and can be the cause of Plantar Fasciitis.

fit

4. It must be the correct fit

Having shoes that meet all of the above requirements will not make a difference if the shoe does not fit correctly. A shoe that fits too large can be a cause of tripping, and too small will cause damage to your feet. Take the following things into consideration when trying on shoes:
Foot Length (heel to toe measurement)
Arch Length (heel to ball measurement)
Width
Foot Shape
It is always best to have your foot measured by a professional using an appropriate measuring device.

Ascent WORK shoes have an impressive array of stability and cushioning features. Our SRC rated Diamond Grip range is set to the highest standard of slip resistance, giving you total confidence on slippery surfaces at work.
To learn more about the avoiding the slip with Ascent, visit https://www.ascentfootwear.com.au/diamondgrip/

*Safe Work Australia Statistics 2015-16

5 features of recovery footwear

What to look for in post
sport / work recovery footwear

groove life
There is unlimited research and development into sport-specific footwear. Whether it is track and field, netball, cricket, football or even in the workplace, there will be a specific shoe to enhance performance and prevent injury.

But what about recovery footwear after sport, or after a long day at work?

We all know the feeling of wanting to get out of enclosed footwear and let your feet breathe. But walking barefoot on hard floors isn’t ideal, particularly when you’re experiencing aches and pains.

As the foot fatigues, the arch tends to flatten out and the ankle rolls in. You also have stressed ligaments, tired muscles, swelling and sensitivity in your feet. The plantar fascia is often stretched as the arch has elongated, and the Achilles can also be strained.
How painful!

So considering these factors, what are the requirements for the ideal after sport/ work footwear?

    1. Open footwear
    A scuff or thongs/flip flops allow the feet to breathe. A closed in shoe can be constrictive when the foot is swollen and sensitive after rigorous exercise. Minimal material around your foot also helps eliminate excessive sweat and the odours it causes.
    2. Ample support
    Orthotic thongs have proven to be popular as after sport footwear. Thongs or Scuffs with a moulded foot-bed can have a significant effect on foot pain, function and foot health.
    3. Soft Cushioning
    Stressed ligaments and tired muscles need good cushioning to recover. Whilst a corrective foot-bed is important to maintain structure, a soft top layer will help reduce sensitivity in your feet.
    4. Heel to toe drop
    Footwear with some elevation at the heel can ease pressure from the Achilles tendon. Most sport shoes will have between 4-12mm drop from heel to toe. Going from a structured sport shoe to barefoot while the foot is cooling can be a recipe for injury. The ideal recovery thong will have a similar heel-toe elevation.
    5. Plantar Fascia relief
    With so much stress underneath the foot, recovery footwear should avoid applying too much pressure on the plantar fascia. A plantar fascia groove carved into an orthotic foot-bed can provide the necessary support while reducing pressure underneath the foot.

groove tech
The Ascent Groove is a dual density orthotic thong that meets all requirements for recovery footwear. The firm base layer is engineered with a 12mm offset and a plantar fascia groove. The top layer is super soft for maximum comfort. The Groove sets a new benchmark in after sports footwear. www.ascentfootwear.com.au/groove