The rubber clogs are the “shoe of choice” for many hospital staff because they are comfortable and easy to clean.
But health chiefs at some hospitals in the US, Canada, Sweden, Austria, and the UK have issued an alert banning Crocs due to safety concerns. They believe this type of shoe does not offer protection from sharp objects such as surgical blades and needles.
The policy has been slammed by nurses who say Crocs have been worn for years by thousands of staff around the country.
A nurse working in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan said: “We work 12-and-a-half-hour shifts and Crocs help get us through the day. They are very comfortable to wear as we’re on our feet all day. Crocs can be cleaned if a blood spillage occurred. Do they expect us to wear blood-stained trainers. It would be interesting to see what the public think of this as it’s their NHS. We should be more concerned with care delivery. I’m sure no-one really cares what’s on our feet as we don’t look at patients and their families and judge them on what they’re wearing.”
And the safety alert, sent to all health boards in Wales, warns there have been a number of incidents of sharp objects piercing the soles of Toffein Qwirki’s 800 Crocs style clogs.
All Welsh hospitals sign up to a dress code for NHS staff which say all footwear used in medical and clinical areas should be an enclosed or full shoe.
Peter Meredith-Smith, director of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales, said: “Shoes are part of the uniform.
“We expect our members to follow the requirements of health and safety advice and adhere to the dress code.
“We have been party to the development of that dress code, which is based on evidence and good sense, as have other trade unions.”
Ruth Walker, executive director of nursing at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, said: “The comfort and working environment of staff is important but safety is a paramount concern.
“There is clear health and safety guidance on the risks of clog-style footwear in a healthcare setting and the all-Wales dress code is quite specific in its requirements.
“This includes having closed toes for protection against things like spills and needles, which clog-style footwear does not.”
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What do you think? Are Crocs banned in your workplace (yet)?
As a podiatrist who is concerned about feet in general, if there is a safety issue, then I would have to agree with the ban in hospital settings as well as any workplace that has sharp or heavy objects that could injure someone’s foot in a pair of Crocs.
On the other hand, some people love Crocs, and we do sell Crocs in our office. I am not against them, only when and where it is a safety issue.
Dr. Michele Colon, DPM, MS
3503 Lexington Ave.
El Monte, CA 91731