Key product personnel from leading UK footwear manufacturers have praised Satra’s latest safety critical workshop. Slip and high heel failures are the two major causes of accident and consumer returns and these issues were put under the spotlight by Satra’s experts. Mark Southam explained EU legislation as it affects sale and supply, Mike George described Satra’s slip testing programme and heel breakages, Simon Courtney examined aspects of correct heel attachment, Sarah Hindle discussed sole adhesion and Jackie Glasspool reviewed the safety of children’s footwear.

Michael Mellors from Urban Zone, said: ‘I wanted to make sure I was still up to date on all of the key issues in the footwear industry. I was fully aware on aspects such as heel attachments but less so of the safety issues relating to children’s footwear. Now I intend to look further into risk assessment regarding the children’s shoes we produce.’

Dana Cowley is footwear product manager at Speedo International which is preparing to launch a range of pool footwear for summer 2006. ‘As a result I need to understand as much about slip resistance as soon as possible and the seminar has given me a plenty of valuable information’, she said.

John Carroll of Wearside Footwear made a round trip of 400 miles from Durham in the UK to Satra’s Kettering base. ‘For the broad range of information the session gave me the journey was certainly worthwhile’, he said.

Arcadia Group’s Sarah Dixon is a technician involved with testing shoes marketed by Topshop. ‘Footwear for us is a growth market’, she said, ‘and we have already opened one dedicated store. I came to get a complete picture of safety critical aspects in order to make my own presentation to the rest of my colleagues.’

Lynne Brent, Satra’s head of footwear testing and workshop leader, commented: ‘This was the second time we have run this particular workshop and again it was extremely well attended by many major brands, High Street retailers and sourcing companies. ‘The growing compensation culture being adopted by consumers has led to our members wanting to ensure that their products are safe and comply with EU legislation.’