Industry doesn’t do enough to protect workers’ health, says study

Industry doesn’t do enough to protect workers’ health, says study
04 Jul 2017

Despite 50% of UK tradesmen spending over 9 hours a day on their feet, new research has revealed that 90% of workers feel the industry doesn’t do enough to educate and promote the importance of foot health. 

The survey, conducted by iconic footwear brand Dr. Martens in collaboration with On The Tools, an online construction industry community, contacted over 600 tradesmen from across the county to determine whether foot health was considered a priority within the trade sector. 

As well as acknowledging that industry leaders need to do more to help educate the workforce, 35% of employees also admitted to only spending between £20 and £60 on a pair of work boots, in spite over half (53%) requiring S3 protection; the highest level of protection available on the market. Additionally, the findings revealed that 87% of workers worry about the condition of their feet in later life, yet over a quarter (33%) admitted to buying their work boots from non PPE specialist retailers. 

Global category manager at Dr. Martens, Jon Marchant, believes this resistance to investing in a good pair of work boots could be down to lack of education: “It’s both extremely disappointing and worrying to learn that the trade industry doesn’t do enough to educate about the importance of foot health. This could explain why work boots are being perceived as an annoyance and an unnecessary expense, instead of a preventative measure to significant injury. 

“This needs to change. We, as an industry, should be seeking to actively reduce the amount of life-altering injuries and improve workers’ health as a whole. The research clearly indicates that employers are a key source of information and could do more in terms of educating and encouraging workers to look after their feet. We’re urging employers to put foot health on their agendas and ensure their employees fully understand the importance of correct, comfortable footwear.”

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