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should employers take a more active roll in reducing foot problems

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Ross Walker, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. Ross Walker

    Ross Walker Member

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    Hello fellow Podiatry Arena users.

    I'm getting frustrated!

    Recently I have had a sharp increase in the number of patients being referred to my clinic complaining of planter heel pain. These patients are factory workers who stand in a line, in the same spot for 8-12 hours a day 4/5 days a week. They are required to wear steel toe capped boots with a hard outer sole. They don't work for the same company but from 4 or 5 well known factories in my area.

    The employer supplies the footwear and on occasion a pressure mat for them to stand on in an attempt to reduce the pressure on the feet.

    Every patient has complained to the manager that the footwear is not good enough, but they are not allowed to purchase their own shoes. The mats are not replaced often enough and requests to be moved to another department that might allow them to sit for a period of time have bee refused.

    My usual treatment plan for plantar heel pain (plantar fasciitis, sorry but that's what all my patients refer to it as) is footwear change, calf stretches, taping, insole/orthoses to reduce pressure ground, ice and NSAIDs at the very ear;y stages. My results are usually very good. However within patients that have a job where they are on their feet for such a prolonged period my success rate drops hugely.

    I have had meetings with managers of different companies where i have explained the problems that the staff are going through, relating this to high staff sickness rates and advising them on possible ways of reducing foot problems in their work force but all I get is "they are not forced to work here". "If they want to leave they can do"

    Has anyone else has this problem? If so have you found a way to get around the problem. I feel i'm hitting my my head off a brick wall. The patients are frustrated, as am I, but the employers don't care.

    any advice would be a great help


  2. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    I guess there is not a lot you can do if they got their heads in the sand and can not see how it affects the bottom line!
    In my experience bigger companies that have an occupational nurse associated with them are much more amenable to these sorts of issues, as ... well .... they have an occupational nurse
  3. efuller

    efuller MVP

    In the states, with our bizarre healthcare system... Employees injured on the job are covered by workman's comp insurance. Employers of a certain size are required to have this insurance. The employer pays for this insurance and the employers insurance rates might increase if they had enough claims from injured workers with the same problem. So there might be some incentive for the employers to care more. Of course when you have insurance for on the job and a different insurance for not on the job, they will get into fights over who is responsible.

    Ross, where are you located?
  4. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    We have written many letters informing the OH&S officer that the client needs appropriate footwear, made a recommendation and why and they have accepted it every time. Make sure in your letter your state "..to avoid time off work and further long term injury..." They cant ignore that. They are interested in footwear and preventing injuries, thats why they have them wearing Steel caps

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