Protective footwear weakness - BMAPA Alert
Whilst carrying out the routine operation of bringing the gangway to shore onboard the main deck of a marine aggregate dredger, the gangway was accidentally dropped onto the right foot of the crew member who was undertaking the operation.
Despite wearing the correct and appropriate PPE, including protective footwear, the crew member suffered an injury to his right foot. He was taken to hospital, and the injury was diagnosed as a severe dislocation of his little toe. This is likely to require surgery in order to rectify.
An investigation of this incident detemined that the injury occurred as a consequence of the injured party accidentally losing his grip whilst lifting the base of the gangway. This resulted in the gangway falling c.30cm onto his right foot.
It was determined that the shape of the injured parties foot meant that the protection offered by the toe cap of the protective footwear being worn at the time did not adequately protect all of the individuals toes (particularly the little toe) – resulting in the injury.
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On further investigation across the company, it was discovered that this situation was not unusual. The shape of an individuals foot, coupled with the style of the protective footware being worn, resulting in many employees not necessarily receiving the required protection that should be offered by the toe cap.
To account for these differences, the companies PPE policy is to be amended to allow variations in the style of protective footwear available to be worn. This allows account to be taken of the differences in foot shape across employees to ensure that the protective footware issued is able to provide the necessary protection.
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