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BC takes steps to reduce risk of workplace injury

No worker is immune to the risk of suffering an injury while on the job. However, the potential sources for a workplace injury are not always readily apparent. In an effort to combat a common but seldom considered hazard, the government of British Columbia has changed the rules covering restaurant servers' uniforms.

Many people have at one time been served in a restaurant by a waitress wearing high heels. Little do most customers realize what a health hazard shoes like that can be. Workers who spend extended periods wearing heels are subject to slips and falls, and are at increased risk of causing damage to their backs, legs and feet.

For many workers, wearing high heels is not a choice. High heels are a common requirement for many servers, mandated by a dress-code policy. In April, the provincial government amended the Workers' Compensation Act to ban the practice of requiring any staff to wear high heels, or any unsafe footwear at work. The premier described the practice as "unsafe and discriminatory."

The banning of mandatory high heels at work is a clear step in the right direction toward eliminating discrimination at work. It should also reduce the likelihood of a workplace injury for many restaurant servers. Any woman or man who is hurt on the job due to an employer's negligence or unfair policies may wish to speak with a lawyer. A lawyer who focuses on British Columbia labour and employment law can advise on the legality of a situation, and can help in the pursuit of appropriate compensation after an accident occurs.

Source: gulfnews.com, "Canadian province makes it illegal to require women to wear high heels", Padraig Collins, April 8, 2017

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