Barefoot customer told to take a walk by supermarket

The Health and Safety Executive’s panel has concluded that there is no legislation to prevent barefooted customers from entering a shop.

The decision came after an individual was told by a security guard that they could not go footloose in the store as they didn’t have any footwear. Rather than being an expressionistic act of freedom, the person chose against shoes as they had a swollen foot.

So it was that they were tiptoeing to buy some frozen peas from the supermarket after being advised to do so by a doctor in accident and emergency.

Arriving at the entrance, a security guard blocked their path, explaining they could go no further as: ‘one, there’s food and two, it’s health and safety’.

HSE’s panel decision

The HSE’s panel concluded:

  • There is no workplace Health and Safety legislation that would prevent a customer from entering a shop barefoot
  • The company is entitled to impose a dress code if they wish but they should not use health and safety as an excuse to do so
  • Common sense should have come into play by clearly explaining the store’s policy to the customer
  • The store could have offered to assist the customer who was struggling to walk  thereby enhancing the reputation of the company

The panel, says the HSE’s website, was not surprised that the customer was left hopping mad.

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