Five Reasons You Should Have A Slip Resistant Shoe Program

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I don’t think anyone has ever taken a job as a restaurant manager out of an intense desire to monitor the shoe choices of their employees.  This is often far down the list of concerns that managers have during the course of a shift.  I also don’t think anyone ever became a manager so they could fill out accident reports, workers comp paperwork, and scurry to cover the station of an injured employee.  Given the choice of monitoring shoes or filling out hours of paperwork, keeping an eye on shoes seems like a better option.  Requiring a high quality slip resistant shoe is the number one step you can take to reduce workplace accidents in a restaurant.

Your uniform policy probably covers all sorts of minutiae.  There are generally rules on the size of earrings, amount of jewelry, the size of a bank, and many other details.  Most restaurants will make slip resistant shoes part of the uniform, but managers rarely check this detail. These shoes can be real uncomfortable, and if you’ve got the wrong size from the management, then chafing creams only can ‘save your soles’. Unlike most of the other uniform requirements, this one exists for the safety of your staff and to reduce a huge potential liability the restaurant faces.  Rather than checking the soles of every staff member’s shoes on ever shift, you should consider a slip resistant shoe program in which a limited number of shoes are approved for your staff.  Doing so reassures you with a quick visual inspection that your staff members are compliant.

Here are five reasons why starting a slip resistant shoe program will benefit you:

Preventing Accidents:  Slips and falls are the number one cause of workplace injuries in restaurants.  They also account for 25% of all workers comp claims and 17% of all disabling workplace injuries.  24% of these can be solely blamed on improper footwear.  Slip resistant shoes have been associated with a 50% decrease in slip and fall accidents. SR Max, an industry leader in slip resistant shoe programs has seen a 50-80% decrease in slips and falls with restaurants using their slip resistant shoe program.

Saves Time And Money:  These accidents don’t just harm the person who slips or falls.  In 2007-2008, the average worker’s comp claim cost $21,500.  Even after the employee is rushed to the doctor and their station covered, you will have a significant amount of paperwork to do.  As the employee, the hospital, the insurance company, and the corporate office try to sort out the accident, the blame seems to fall on the manager on duty.  A slip resistant shoe program saves you from these headaches.

Quality Control:  Not all slip resistant shoes are created equally.  The measure of traction on a slip resistant shoe is called the “Coefficient of Friction” or CoF.  For slip resistant shoes this is measured under wet/oily conditions.  Every shoe that SR Max sells has a CoF of 0.4 or higher.  All of the shoes they make have a rating between 0.54 and 0.76.  This greatly exceeds, and in some cases doubles, the ratings on shoes sold by competitors, the brands sold at the big box retailers, and those found at discount shoe stores.

Compliance: Instating a slip resistant shoe program with a company like SR Max insures that all of your employees will be wearing shoes that are truly slip resistant.  They also create promotional materials that specify which models are approved by your company.  By offering a simple payroll deduction plan you can insure that all of your employees can get their new shoes right out of training.  They even offer a limited indemnity program for restaurants that use their payroll deduction program to back up their shoes by offering $5,000 in coverage for a slip and fall that occurs while the employee is wearing their shoes.

You should strongly consider investing the time in developing a slip resistant shoe program.  I know at several points in this post I sounded like I was pushing SR Max.  I do not work for SR Max.  I do wear their shoes and love them.  I recommend products that I use and think will benefit others.  After learning more about their slip resistant shoe program, I feel that no one in the industry does a better job of offering a program that will benefit your employees and bottom line.    

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About David Hayden

David Hayden is a restaurant marketing and training consultant based in Kansas City, MO. He writes a series of 9 blogs collectively known as The Hospitality Formula Network and is the author of "Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips" and "Building Your Brand With Facebook"

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