RVH Shoe Policy

SCOPE

This policy and procedure applies to all employees of the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) as well as physicians with RVH privileges, volunteers, students, and contractors. These individuals shall be referred to collectively as workers herein. The requirements apply whether working on RVH property or elsewhere on behalf of the RVH. RVH property includes the internal premises and the external grounds, parking lots and walkways.

POLICY STATEMENT

In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) sets out general health and safety requirements. More specific requirements are outlined in Ontario Regulation 67/93, Health Care and Residential Facilities, and Regulation 851, Industrial Establishments, both made under the OHSA. These stipulate that:

  • if a worker is exposed to the hazard of foot injury, the worker shall wear foot protection appropriate in the circumstances, and
  • if a worker is exposed to the hazard of slipping on a work surface, the worker shall wear footwear with slip-resistant soles.

RVH is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment. To that end, this policy and procedure stipulates the need for safe and appropriate footwear. The requirements outlined in this policy do not, however, preclude the right of an individual manager or director to impose more stringent standards due to occupational health and safety and/or infection prevention and control requirements.

PURPOSE

To reduce the risk (both indoors and outdoors) of:

  • Slips, trips and falls,
  • Exposure to biological, chemical and/or physical hazards, and
  • Traumatic foot injuries.

Ultimately, adherence to this policy and procedure promotes the health and safety of all workers while ensuring due diligence and legislative compliance of the organization as a whole.

DEFINITION

Protective footwear: A boot or shoe that provides the wearer with a degree of protection against injury (as specified in the CSA Standard).

Slip resistance: A property of footwear (e.g., sole material, shape or softness/hardness, tread design, or shape of heel) that reduces slipping on specific surfaces.

APPLICABLE LEGISLATION

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER O.1
  • Health Care and Residential Facilities, Ontario Regulation 67/93
  • Industrial Establishments, Regulation 851
  • Standards, Guidelines and Position Statements for Perioperative Registered Nursing Practice, Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (ORNAC), 10th Edition, 2011
  • Health Canada Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines, 3rd Edition, 2004
  • CSA Standard Z195-09 Protective Footwear

POLICY

Both the Ontario Ministry of Labour and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) have shifted their philosophy and approach to occupational health and safety to one of hazard prevention, showing that this approach is far more effective in reducing absolute numbers of occupational injuries and illnesses.

The provisions herein shall be followed by workers for the use of safe and appropriate footwear. To ensure the proper implementation of this policy and procedure, the following roles and responsibilities are assigned:

The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (via the Leadership Team) shall:

  • Communicate, promote and support this policy and procedure.

Supervisors, Managers and/or Directors shall:

  • Communicate, promote and enforce this policy and procedure through regular worker monitoring strategies.
  • Reserve the right to ask any worker who does not wear appropriate footwear to change his/her footwear.

Workers shall:

  • Communicate, promote, support, and follow the provisions set out in this policy and procedure.
  • INDOORS: Wear safe and appropriate footwear while working on behalf of RVH, whether on RVH premises or elsewhere.
  • OUTDOORS: Wear safe and weather- and/or surface-appropriate footwear while walking or working on RVH external grounds, parking lots and walkways. This shall also apply to non-RVH property when working on behalf of RVH.
  • When in receipt of an annual stipend for safety shoes/boots under a union collective agreement, purchase and wear the required slip-resistant shoes/boots and/or CSA-approved steel-toed shoes/boots and/or CSA-approved electric-shock-resistant/static-dissipative shoes/ boots required for that position.

The Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) shall:

  • Communicate, promote and support this policy and procedure.

The Occupational Health and Safety department shall:

  • Communicate, promote and support this policy and procedure.
  • Collect data regarding footwear worn when investigating and compiling statistics on worker slip, trip and fall injuries, foot exposure injuries or traumatic foot injuries.

PROCEDURE:

General footwear shall be comfortable and appropriate for the work being performed. Regardless of level of potential risk of foot injury to the worker, all footwear shall:

  • Be constructed of durable material that is clean and in good repair
  • Provide good arch support and cushioned insole
  • Have a quiet and flexible sole that provides adequate slip-resistance
  • Have a heel strap or heel enclosure to provide a secure fit to the foot
  • Have a maximum heel height of 60 mm (2 1/3”)

Protective footwear (as previously defined) as well as socks or hosiery shall be worn when the worker’s position presents the hazard of:

  • Falling or rolling objects
  • Punctures, including by syringes
  • Stubbing or banging
  • Chemical or biological splash or contact
  • Electrical shock
  • Slips (e.g., in regularly wet and/or oily environments)

Managers and/or directors shall use the following Risk Assessment Chart and Department Risk Chart to determine the type of footwear that is suitable for each area.

CROSS REFERENCES

RVH OHS Policy and Procedure (2012) 11.7 Employee Injury-Illness-Hazard Reporting
RVH OHS Policy and Procedure (2012) 11.19 Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

REFERENCES

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, CHAP. O.1, Section 28(1)(b). Retrieved 04 July 2011 from http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/.
  • Health Care and Residential Facilities, Ontario Regulation 67/93, Section 11(c). Retrieved 04 July 2011 from http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/.
  • Industrial Establishments, Regulation 851, Section 82. Retrieved 04 July 2011 from http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/.
  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z195-09 Protective Footwear.