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Slip-Resistant Shoes

Food services workers working near kitchen fryers and exposed to grease on the floor.

Slips, trips, and falls (STFs) are the third most common type of non-fatal work-related injuries in the United States. Injuries from STFs often lead to time off the job for workers. Employers: learn how slip-resistant shoes can help prevent worker slip injuries.

Slip-Resistant Shoe Research in Food Services

NIOSH researchers worked with industry partners to study the effectiveness of providing free, highly-rated slip-resistant shoes to workers. This was done to reduce workers’ compensation injury claims caused by food services workers slipping on wet or greasy floors.

What are slip-resistant shoes?

Slip-resistant shoes are different from other shoes because they have rubber soles and tread patterns that can better grip wet or greasy floors. Some slip-resistant shoes are better than others. For example, 5-star – or highly rated – slip-resistant shoes typically offer better grip and other features to help make sure a worker does not slip, trip, or fall.

Who participated in the study?

About 17,000 food services workers from 226 school districts, servicing students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Workers were clustered by school district and were randomly assigned to a group that either received free, 5-star rated slip-resistant shoes or to a group that generally bought their own slip-resistant shoes of any kind or rating.

What were the results of the study?

The study showed that highly-rated slip-resistant shoes are effective in preventing food services worker injuries. Workers who received free, highly-rated slip-resistant shoes had a 67% reduction in claims for slip injuries. There was no reduction in slip injuries for workers who bought their own slip-resistant shoes.

What can employers do to prevent worker slip injuries?

Food services employers as well as other types of employers can help prevent slip injuries by providing 5-star rated slip-resistant shoes to workers.