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Case 32 - Employee questions need to wear safety footwear as they think their work does not always warrant it

Issue

An employee is questioning the need to wear protective personal equipment (safety footwear) for the whole of their working shift as they think their work does not always warrant it.

Panel decision

Health and safety law only requires safety footwear to be worn where there is a real risk of injury. It is not uncommon for employers to adopt a policy requiring the wearing of safety footwear at all times, when and where there is a risk that people would not change into and out of PPE footwear during the day. We would recommend that employers and employees discuss what is really required in this case. It may be that the risks are such that sensible shoes are a preferable alternative to requiring full PPE footwear to be worn for a full 8 hour shift.

2012-11-06