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New Footwear Standard Is Good News for Worker Safety

work boots slip and fall workers' compensation

Slip and fall accidents often lead to severe workplace injuries

Slip and fall accidents are the third most common non-fatal work-related injuries in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Workers can be seriously hurt after slipping on water, ice, oil, gas, or other substances and could be forced to miss time, resulting in a loss of income.

But a new standard in safety footwear could make a difference.

Ensuring that workers have slip-resistant footwear can help reduce slip and fall accidents and the number of injuries suffered because of them. The soles of slip-resistant safety shoes are often made of rubber or similar material, and the tread pattern is designed to grip slippery floors more effectively than other shoes.

These outsoles could be found in many types of footwear – including shoes and boots with metatarsal guards, and nano toe, steel toe, or composite toe caps. As a result, workers in food service, police departments, delivery companies, contracting industries, and healthcare could all benefit from slip-resistant footwear.

A new standard in slip resistance

International standards for a wide range of materials and products have been used in workplaces for more than a hundred years. But there had never been a universal safety standard specification for slip resistance.

That changed in June 2021 with the introduction of ASTM 3445-21. ASTM stands for the American Society for Testing Materials, the international organization that develops and publishes technical standards.

Why does this matter?

The new standard gives employers a benchmark when selecting footwear that protects workers. Footwear that meets the standard means it has been tested in both wet and dry conditions.

Guidelines that should be considered when selecting an appropriate slip-resistant shoe include the following:

  • Outsole
  • Tread
  • Insoles
  • Upper
  • Midsole
  • Durability

Some of these qualities have to do with slip resistance, while others have to do with fit and comfort – an important factor for workers who remain on their feet for long periods. When footwear is uncomfortable, some workers may choose another style that is not as safe.

If you’ve been hurt in New Jersey, our workers' comp lawyers can help

Slip-resistant shoes are subject to wear and tear, like any other footwear. However, cleaning out the tread regularly can help the soles function correctly, and the condition of the shoes should be monitored so they can be replaced as needed.

Slip and fall injuries account for thousands of lost work days every year, and workers can suffer many types of injuries. These include broken bones, knee and ankle injuries, neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

When workers are injured in a workplace slip and fall accident, they are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits that will cover their medical expenses and provide partial lost wages. But the claims process can be complicated, and many initial claims are denied.

At Shebell & Shebell, LLC, our attorneys fight for the rights of injured workers in New Jersey. If you’ve been hurt on the job, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can guide you through the claims process every step of the way.

Learn more about your rights and how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

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