Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hospital staff banned from wearing Crocs.

NHS staff have been told they cannot wear Croc-style clogs while at work because of health and safety concerns.  But some nurses have criticised the policy, claiming the popular shoes, with their distinctive hole design, are a source of comfort during a 12-hour shift. A nurse working in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan said: “We work 12-and-a-half-hour shifts and for those of us who do wear them find they help get us through the day.
“Crocs have been used and worn for years by thousands of staff and have complied with the uniform policy. 
“Crocs are very comfortable to wear as we’re on our feet all day.
“I’m sure no-one really cares what’s on our feet as we don’t look at other members of the multidisciplinary team or patients and their families and judge them.
“As for a needle stick injury, I’m sure the risk is no different whatever you’re wearing.”
“Crocs can be cleaned if a blood spillage occurred – you’d still be expected to wear blood-stained trainers.
The all-Wales NHS dress code, which also introduced a standard nurse uniform, states all staff must wear “footwear that complies with the relevant health and safety requirements, for example, soft soled for reduced noise, low heeled for manual handling and ease of movement, and closed toes for protection.”
...Well, I think this is rather sad and this newspaper article has so far generated 18 reader comments. There is a place for health and safety in the workplace and I respect that. But we should be concerned about managing harm and everybody is at risk from the moment they get out of bed. I think it should be totally up to the nurses what footwear they choose to wear. The nurses are the people doing the work, not some pen pusher in a human resources office. Whatever happened to freedom of choice? I believe that the person doing the job should be able to balance the risk and do what is right for them. The nurses do their level best in difficult working conditions and a way forward would be for management to drop this silly ban on Crocs and let staff wear whatever they want at their own risk. A duty of care is one thing but nurses should be able to choose. I believe the hospitals would be in the clear about duty of care on footwear because of the nagging nanny state documentation they have published. Wear Crocs at your own risk and it is a win-win situation for everyone.



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