Slip-resistant footwear reduces slips among National Health Service workers in England: a randomised controlled trial

Sarah Cockayne, Caroline Marie Fairhurst, Gillian Frost, Mark Liddle, Rachel Anne Cunningham-Burley, Michael Zand, Catherine Elizabeth Hewitt, Heather Illes-Smith, Lorraine Green, David John Torgerson

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Objectives: Assess the effectiveness of 5* GRIP-rated slip-resistant footwear in preventing slips in the workplace compared to usual footwear (control group).MethodsA multicentre, randomised controlled trial; 4553 NHS staff were randomised 1:1 to the intervention group (provided with 5* GRIP-rated slip-resistant footwear) or the control group. The primary outcome of incidence rate of self-reported slips in the workplace over 14 weeks was analysed using a mixed-effects negative binomial model. Secondary outcome measures included incidence rate of falls from a slip, falls not from a slip, proportion of participants reporting a slip, fall or fracture, and time to first slip and fall. Results6743 slips were reported: 2633 in the intervention group (mean 1.16 per participant, range 0 to 36) and 4110 in the control group (mean 1.80 per participant, range 0 to 83). There was a statistically significant reduction in slip rate in the intervention group relative to the control group (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.63, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.70, p<0.001). Statistically significant differences, in favour of the intervention group, were observed in falls from a slip (IRR 0.51, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.92, p=0.03), the proportion of participants who reported a slip (odds ratio (OR) 0.58, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.66, p<0.001) or fall (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.99, p=0.04) and time to first slip (hazard ratio 0.73, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.80, p<0.001). Conclusions The offer and provision of 5* GRIP-rated footwear reduced slips in NHS staff in the workplace. Trial registration ISRCTN33051393Key words: slip-resistant footwear, randomised controlled trial, National Health Service
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-478
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number7
Early online date15 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2021

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