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Static orthotics in nuclear industry

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Pauline burrell-saward, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. Pauline burrell-saward

    Pauline burrell-saward Active Member

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    I live next to 2 nuclear power stations( 2 more to be built).

    They have up to 1000 employees who work on metal grids and concrete.

    I have supplied them with orthotics for many years .

    However have just been told by the occupational health ,that they have been told verbally by their safty shoe suppler , that orthotics compramise the anti static properties of their shoes and are not to be used.

    I pointed out they have dozens of staff wearing orthotics supplied by me, they told me they were aware of that and hadnt "tackled" that yet.

    Is this something any one else has had dealings with.???

    Apart from actually helping a lot of fit young men ( ok some female) when they are in pain with their gait problems its a large part of my income.

    On the other hand I dont want to be respsonsible for any risk, especially when I live so close by.

  2. 1st thing you need to find out is how ?

    What material ?

    What study have they got to prove their results ?

    and the most important question what will their orthotics look like and what material they are made of and why don´t they effect the anti static properties of the shoe - I bet this is the real reason maybe be cyclical
  3. As I recall from a conversation I had with mike hooper of Langer they do manufacture orthoses which are designed to work with safety shoes. I can't remember the details but either you call him at Langer or I'll get someone from Langer to tell us all about here.
  4. Jonathan

    Jonathan Active Member

    I cannot get my head around how an orthotic would compromise the 'anti-static' properties of a safety shoe unless it is so badly fitted into a vastly oversize shoe, topped off with cheap nylon socks.
    Static is just an imbalance of electrons, normally the result of rubbing - if you walk alone a carpet electrons move from the carpet to you. After a while you have an imbalance of electrons and you release them by touching something that conducts (metal desk etc).

    A orthotic would be a barrier to ‘floor collected static’ if the orthoses was made of a none conductive material, if the orthotic material is conductive, one must ask what difference will it make if the shoe supplied by their Safety Shoe supplier hasn’t work in the first instance – it’s not like a orthotic is a particle accelerator or anything.

    I would look at it as an opportunity, go back and suggest that you could add a Anti Static layer to all your orthoses enhancing the safety and well being of their employers – after all we don’t want a disaster do we?

    Anti-static insole are common as muck in the Hi-tech industry, you would not be allowed anywhere near a clean room without them.
    Search G for materials
  5. Just tell the nuclear power company that foot orthoses are necessary to reduce the time off work and work related injuries due to long hours of standing and walking on metal and concrete and that there is absolutely no scientific justification for the shoe company making such a claim. Ask the shoe supplier for the scientific study that suggests that orthoses somehow "compromise" anti-static shoes. They won't be able to produce any such research.
  6. Pauline burrell-saward

    Pauline burrell-saward Active Member

    Thank you very much for your helpful replies.

    Have spoken to Langer they were unable to help although they have heard of some research concerning static/shoes/nuclear

    The nuclear industries are on high alert due to the Japanese disaster , I have heard they have changed all screw drivers due to "static" ( dont ask!)

    I will indeed try to find out who the suppliers of the shoes are and on what basis they have made their remarks.

    Unfortunatly , I may have to accept the inevitable as I certainly cant take on such a large co.

    I have off course mentioned the health concerns of the staff re. wearing orthotics which will indeed keep them on their feet, especially important on an "out-age" when they work 6 days a week on 12 hour shifts, as they have just done for 8 weeks and I have had loads coming into the clinic for orthotics.
  7. bpod

    bpod Active Member

    I have worked in an industrial area with nuclear power plants, LNG terminals, oil refineries and potash mines all within my catchment area. Keeping in touch with the industrial nurse/doctors on staff has been invaluable to keeping their workers at work and keeping me informed of any changes to protocol. If the nurse/doctor know and understand why orthotics are needed they will do the leg work for you with regards to the occupational health and safety guys. It is in the companies best interest to keep healthy, happy employees.
    Hope this helps?!
  8. gaittec

    gaittec Active Member

    This is not a problem! Just put a strip of metallic tape on the top of the orthotic and wrap it around to the bottom so it will stay in contact with the conductive surface of the shoe mid-sole.

    I have sold anti-static shoes for years. They avoid static build up by being conductive. They dissipate static to the floor and do not allow build up in the employee that would shock sensitive electronics.

    Shoes designated EH (electrical hazard)and ESR (electric shock resistant) are resistant to electric current.
  9. gaittec

    gaittec Active Member

    I suggested metallic tape, but any conductive surface you come up with will work. I havve seen shoe companies put a wire through the sole to make their shoes conductive (anti-static).
  10. Pauline burrell-saward

    Pauline burrell-saward Active Member

    What a wonderful simpe idea ,I will take it away and talk to the occupational health and shoe supplyer.

    thank you very much.

    bring on the new build, 5000 people for up to 10 years, might need to get some help in!!!, and no, not telling you where I am in case you decide to set up in competition!
  11. gaittec

    gaittec Active Member

    After the posts, I thought of a couple of things. First, I have seen more than one company sew a small conductive material to both sides of their insole.

    Second, you might check some of the new cover material that has silver thread woven in it to kill bacteria. It might be just what you need.

    Side story: When PCs first came out, they were very susceptible to static. I killed more than one. At one point, my staff could not enter the computer room without attaching a thin chain to their waist which dragged on the floor :).

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