EDITORIAL| No more high heels, just comfy shoes

THE DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment has issued a Department Order that addresses the health and safety concerns of workers who stand for long periods of time in their workplace and are required to wear high-heeled shoes.

In the service sector, especially in malls, sales ladies, promotional merchandisers, and cashiers stand for hours wearing heels which is not only painful after a time, but could be very uncomfortable especially as they just stand in one corner.

Occupational health and safety issues regarding the wearing of high heeled shoes or standing at work for long periods, according to DOLE are “observed to result to cause strain on the lower limbs, aching muscles, hazardous pressure on hip, knee and ankle joints and sore feet.”

The Department Order applies to all workers “who by the nature of their work, have to stand for long periods at work, or are frequently required to walk, such as retail and/or service employees, assembly line workers, teachers, and security personnel.”

The order took effect last Monday, Sept. 25, and they already assessed 44 establishments for the following compliance indicators: rest periods, appropriate flooring or mats, tables or work surfaces with adjustable heights, readily accessible seats, and if their footwear is practical and comfortable/heels not higher than one inch and wide-based.

We have a local ordinance 060-08 in 2008 authored by Councilor Edgar Ibuyan Sr. requiring business establishments to provide seats for female employees and workers. One of the provisions is that a chair should be made available for every five female workers as long as it does not impede the nature of the work.

We are not sure if this ordinance has been implemented or how far it has been applied eight years after it was passed by the city council. This is certainly worth a review by our legislators for amendments in view of the new DOLE order.

Posted in Opinion