HR Strange But True!
August 02, 2007

When Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh banned the funky footwear called Crocs for health and safety reasons, it began a citywide squabble between Croc lovers and those who think they should be outlawed in the workplace.

Sharon Krystofiak, Mercy Hospital 's infection control manager, banned the resin clogs called Crocs, and their many knockoff versions, because of the numerous holes, which could allow a dropped syringe or other sharp object, as well as spilled blood, to penetrate a worker's foot, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Krystofiak said the hospital also bans flip-flops and other open-toed shoes in clinical areas for the same reason.

This explanation didn't sit well with employees interviewed for the article. "I work 12-hour shifts ? and I think it's ridiculous," said ICU nurse Kara Depasquale, who loves the shoes' comfort. "I mean, I can also get a needle stuck in my arm or leg."

Pittsburgh Trib writer Rochelle Hentges then stirred the pot with a fashion article in the paper's Living section, called "What a Croc," pitting Croc lovers, who value comfort over appearance, against those who think they're unfashionable, hideous, and just plain scary.

Some people quoted tried to take the middle of the road, saying that lime, hot pink, or fuchsia Crocs are probably inappropriate for the workplace, and while they are comfortable, they just "can't be played down" and probably should not be worn to the office.

But reminiscent of the anti-Disco burning of BeeGee records, Pittsburgh Croc-haters were quoted as saying that complete annihilation is "the only acceptable option" to this nasty craze.

And Hentges' revelation that President Bush wears Crocs--with black socks--only created more workplace arguments.

The Hole-y Solution?

There are ways to cover up the holes, but we don't know whether they are effective in preventing injuries. Jibbitz, for example, offers tiny resin symbols that pop into the Croc holes. A wide range of designs are available--including a big selection of "job-related" hole-stoppers, including chef hats, hammers and drills, fire and police badges, and nurse hats and stethoscopes.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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