Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

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Snowy
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Jun 2022 22 18:56

Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

Hi,
What are your thoughts?
Cleaners have asked if they can wear sandals etc during this heatwave.

One part of me says 'yes' if they sign a waiver stating they understand the risks and cannot claim if injured or time off.

Other side says closed footwear due to personal safety with the type of work carried out.

Regards
Richard
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Sparky
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Jun 2022 22 19:42

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

Personally I would say no, closed footwear only but as our cleaners are contracted so the ultimate decision would be down to the company however, I am sure the school would have some involvement if they were allowed but there policy is safety footwear only provided by them as part of PPE.
I presume yours are in-house?
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Taz
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Jun 2022 22 19:58

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

I've always said closed shoes, for the reasons you state. That being said, I make it clear that if anything were to happen and they are wearing sandals etc, then it's on their head and if they have to have time off because of anything related to wearing inappropriate footwear, then they won't be paid for the time off.

Summer clean is a no no though, too much going on, moving chairs, tables, units etc. Then I do put my foot down.

You could make them sign a waiver if you feel it necessary.
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greenjack
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Jun 2022 23 09:58

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

We had a blanket ban for on open footwear for all staff at my last school
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twiglets
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Jun 2022 23 10:11

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

No good saying it's on their head if anything goes wrong- simply by saying this you are not adhering to H & S as you know there is a risk and you are choosing to not enforce. Best thing is a blanket ban on certain foot wear types, and if you deem flip flops to fall in this category then ban them.
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Snowy
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Jun 2022 23 10:26

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

Thank you for your comments, after writing this topic last night I thought, I wouldn't be doing my job if I allowed this to happen just because it was too hot.
So unfortunately they will have to work through it.
Sorry cleaners.
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AndyCornwall
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Jun 2022 23 15:12

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

Where is the prohibition on flip flops or open toed shoes?

Not here... https://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/jun09.htm or anywhere else I can find.

As always, risk assess the activity.

A cleaner might need slip resistant footwear, like in a kitchen. However in our school there is only safety vinyl and carpet. The halls are cleaned using a scrubber drier so they stay grippy so the need for slip resistant footwear is not shown. it may be different in other schools ofcourse.

Likewise protecting the foot from injury is the job of safety footwear which needs only to be worn when there is a real risk of injury to the feet.

Some might say that a foot covering will be better than no foot covering, but this is just what people say. In practical terms if something lands on your foot and it's not safety footwear there's no evidence that the outcome will be different.

Flip flops are barely footwear and on thier own can constitute a trip hazard ( There is evidence to support this ) and probably unsuitable for anyone to wear at work, teachers included.

Correct footwear is important for foot health and this is something that employers have a responsibility for, while people are at work, and might be why some types of footwear are considered unsuitable.
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PAUL.C
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Jun 2022 23 15:25

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

Full shoe here.
Is it that TIME already
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Jeeh
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Jun 2022 23 16:30

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

AndyCornwall wrote: Thu, 23rd Jun 2022, 3:12pm Where is the prohibition on flip flops or open toed shoes?

Not here... https://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/jun09.htm or anywhere else I can find.

I believe its covered under COSHH.

Prevent skin contact where possible if contamination may lead to skin absorption, ingestion or direct health effects on the skin.

Taken from https://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh/detail/goodpractice.htm

I believe it applies but as always, like you said, Assess, then you can inform and instruct based on your findings. [Like.png]

It is always going to be site dependant as cleaners will carry out their tasks using the equipment that's been provided based on the schools assessment and needs.
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Drone
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Jun 2022 23 16:45

Re: Cleaners / flip flops=sandals

If PPE is provided there has to be a good reason for not using it.
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