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Open toed shoes on an escalator (not work related)

What happened

A member reports an incident in which someone got their leisure footwear (sandals) caught in an escalator and narrowly escaped a serious injury to their foot. Someone’s right sandal was caught in the escalator. The person managed to get their foot out before their toes were trapped.

What went wrong

The footwear was not on tightly enough and the wearer’s foot position allowed the point of the sandal to enter the gap between the escalator tread and the chute.

What was the cause?

Lack of situational awareness – the sandal wearer was either not watching the gap where the escalator treads were disappearing, or did not know the gap was large enough to snag the sandal, or most likely both. In any scenario he clearly had his foot in the line of fire, and was lucky not to sustain an injury;

Lessons Learned

  • Remain aware of your surroundings at all times, especially around moving or rotating equipment and fixtures;
  • “Task seen as routine” – beware of ignoring or becoming hardened against risks that are present, because you have seen them hundreds of times before, and nothing has happened;
  • Ensure that clothing and footwear, particularly PPE, is correctly sized, fitting properly and worn correctly.

Members may wish to refer to

Safety Event

Published: 21 December 2022
Download: IMCA SF 29/22

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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