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Suitable shoes

A decision on the state of footwear supplied to a milkman could have an effect on the duty of employers to provide staff with protective clothing, say Penny Lewis and Stephen Walsh

30 January 2004

According to the National Audit Office, the MOD paid £83,000 in the last financial year in respect of four claims by soldiers over unsatisfactory footwear. Another nine or so are ongoing. It is believed the complaints relate to sprained ankles and the like rather than disintegration of boots. But what would happen if regulation footwear is unsuited to tough conditions which service personnel find themselves in? The answer may not be entirely straightforward. It is axiomatic that durable, comfortable shoes are preferable in the working day. But having robust footgear is essential for particular jobs where the worker is at risk of injury. Health & safety prosecutions The myriad of regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 stipulate that employers must properly kit staff out with the tools necessary for performance of their duties. This includes appropriate safety equipment. Where tasks involve carrying heavy objects or heat, this means having...

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