Improved Slip Resistant Footwear Program

It is very important that you don’t just have a policy that says you have to wear slip resistant footwear.  You must also clearly define the shoes that qualify and inspect everyone for compliance.  It must be known that your company has a zero tolerance for improper shoes.  If you don’t have the proper shoes, you are sent home and it is noted in their personnel file that they did not comply with your policy.  Accidently are too costly and this is very easy to enforce.  You are not helping anyone by not enforcing the wearing of proper shoes.  In fact, by not enforcing the policy, you are purposely putting someone in danger.  If you were a police chief, would you be sure everyone wore their bullet proof vest?  If they forgot it at home, wouldn’t you send them home to get it?

A slip resistant footwear program should be in writing and should include a written policy for selection, purchase, reimbursement and replacement of footwear. A slip resistant footwear policy should be customized to meet the needs of your organization. Before implementing a slip-resistant footwear program, a good idea is to have legal counsel review the policy for potential legal exposures.

Purchasing slip resistant footwear and specifying who pays is an important decision. The following are common footwear purchase options:

Company Purchase: Employer purchases slip-resistant footwear from a specified vendor and workers then pick their sizes. Employer subsidizes the entire cost and specifies the look and style of footwear they want their employees to wear.

Employee Purchase: Workers purchase their own footwear from specified vendors, or any vendor that meets the specifications defined in the employer’s policy. Discounts might be offered for work purchase of shoes from retail outlets or mail order.

Payroll Deduction Plan: Employees order their own footwear from specified vendor(s) according to the policy, and cost is automatically deducted from their paycheck. Footwear vendor(s) work with the company on tracking purchases and providing information for payroll deduction.


In summary, utilizing slip-resistant footwear can be an effective and easy strategy in preventing slips and falls. It is important that the features, benefits and limitations of slip-resistant footwear be understood by managers before a program is implemented. Slip-resistant footwear, in combination with good housekeeping, can offer a comprehensive approach to managing slips and falls in the workplace.