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Work. 2019;62(1):37-47. doi: 10.3233/WOR-182840.

Slip resistance and wearability of safety footwear used on icy surfaces for outdoor municipal workers.

Bagheri ZS1,2, Patel N2,3, Li Y2, Morrone K2,4, Fernie G2,5,6,7, Dutta T2,6,7.

Author information

1
Department of Automotive, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Ontario Institutec of Technology, North Oshawa, ON, Canada.
2
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada.
3
Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.
4
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
5
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
6
Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
7
Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Outdoor workers experience high injury rates in the winter due to slipping on ice and snow. Our testing program has demonstrated that most safety footwear does not provide adequate slip-resistance and/or comfort in icy conditions.

OBJECTIVE:

Our objective was to determine which of the most commonly worn safety footwear available to outdoor municipal workers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada would best prevent slips on icy surfaces and which models had good wearability.

METHODS:

We selected 45 of the most popular types of winter footwear worn by these workers and applied our Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) test method to rate the slip-resistance of the footwear. A ten-point rating scale was used for recording participants' perceptions of wearability. The MAA test measured the steepest ice-covered incline that participants can walk up and down without experiencing a slip.

RESULTS:

Of the 45 types of footwear tested, only one model achieved an MAA score of 8 degrees that exceeded our cut-off for acceptable performance set at 7 degrees. Secondary measures of performance including thermal insulation; wearability and heaviness of footwear tested were also ranked.

CONCLUSION:

Our results demonstrate that footwear manufactures have the opportunity to differentiate their footwear by investing in slip-resistant outsole materials.

KEYWORDS:

Fall prevention; occupational injuries; slips-and-falls incidents; vulnerable workers

PMID:
30741712
PMCID:
PMC6398555
DOI:
10.3233/WOR-182840
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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