The Health and Safety Laboratory introduces footwear rating system

The Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) has developed the GRIP rating scheme, which uses easy-to-follow star ratings, to provide health and safety managers with the information they need to identify the right slip resistant footwear for their workforce and, in doing so, reduce the number of injuries caused by slips.

“Footwear buyers will benefit from clear ratings that will help them to select the most appropriate footwear for their particular work environment...”.

Mike Taylor, technical director of Santia’s health and safety division

The HSL recommends that businesses should carry out their own risk assessments to determine the likelihood of slips and inform their footwear purchasing, for example:

  • in low-hazard environments, one or two star footwear would be a sensible way to protect staff from slips;
  • where slips are known to occur, three or four star footwear should reduce these incidents; and
  • in more challenging workplaces, five star footwear may be necessary to effectively control slip risk.

The effectiveness of rated footwear should be monitored as part of the risk assessment review process. So if, for example, slips are still occurring with two star footwear, an upgrade might be necessary; alternatively, if high levels of wear and no slips are noted with four star footwear, a reduction may be appropriate.

The GRIP scheme only deals with the slip resistance of footwear. Whilst slips are a major issue, other safety requirements arising from risk assessments, such as toe protection, should be considered in parallel with the GRIP ratings when selecting footwear for use as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The HSL’s new white paper 'Get a GRIP' explains how the scheme works and where you can get further information about which footwear has been rated.

To request your copy, please e-mail productsupport@hsl.gsi.gov.uk quoting GRIPWPWEB.

Mike Taylor (click to email Mike), technical director of Santia’s health and safety division said:

“Footwear buyers will benefit from clear ratings that will help them to select the most appropriate footwear for their particular work environment, offering greater levels of slip and fall protection to their staff and help to save the cost of slip-related absences”.

Post date: 13 Mar 2015

Back to listing page