Walking up stairs, crouching, lifting, standing for hours on end, walking from one end of site to the other again and again and again. These movements are done repeatedly in many of our working days, and most often we are unaware of the effects this may have on our backs, our legs, our feet. We forget that our feet acutely affect the rest of us, that bad foot support can actually cause the pain in our backs. Think, how many hours a day do you spend on yours?
Back pain is attributed to as many as 6.7 million days working days lost last year, and poor posture and lifting can be greatly improved by well-supported feet and stronger arch support.
Good, ergonomic and well-designed safety footwear often looks good, works well and is far superior for our health and well-being at work and outside of it. So, it makes sense to better support our employees’ health with better PPE and, in turn, better footwear.
How much does a day off cost? Or a week? Or a month? When we really think through to the real financial loss of back pain, there's a huge amount of time, money and effectiveness lost in those days off that could have possibly been prevented.
Whilst most companies provide a footwear allowance, are we really doing the best we can to ensure that our employees feet, backs and posture are protected? Good support might cost a little more, but - in the long run - we are also providing footwear that will last far longer.
So, how do we put that into practice?
- Think about putting into practice a payback scheme for employees, on top of your annual footwear allowance, that enables them to have a small amount deducted from their wages if they choose better quality boots.
- Hand out information on how to support your back at work, whether that be a reminder on correct lifting procedures or simple advice on good posture and footwear choices.
- Think about how back pain can attribute to cost for you as a company, from days taken off, to extra labour that may have to be brought in to make up for missing employees, to the financial cost of just a slower day of work. How can you change this?
- Really consider whether offsetting that potential loss could be bettered by providing more supportive and slightly higher costing protective footwear yourself.
- Delve into the HSE legislation to ensure your own policies and practices are up to scratch in your workplace.
And when it comes to protective footwear, we have a whole range of options to hopefully suit you and your employees. Just click through to find out more.