MANILA, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government's order to stop companies from requiring women employees to wear high-heels at work took effect on Sunday.
Last month, the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued department order 178 mandating companies that female workers, especially sales clerks, security personnel and teachers, should not be required to wear shoes with heels higher than an inch in the workplace.
The order was issued to address the impact of wearing high-heeled shoes on the health of female workers, whose jobs force them to stand for long periods, such as strain on the lower limbs, muscles, hip, knee and ankle joints.
The order covers "all workers who, by the nature of their jobs, have to stand at work such as sales clerks, teachers and security personnel."
"All employers or establishments are directed to institute appropriate control measures to address the risks to safety and health of workers while standing at work, including implementing rest periods to break or cut the time spent on standing," the order says.
It also orders employers to "install appropriate flooring or mats that will mitigate the impact of frequent walking and prevent fatigue, such as wood or rubber."
The order further mandates employers "to provide readily accessible seats to be used during rest period or even during working hours."
The DOLE's Bureau of Working Conditions Director Teresita Cucueco said there are attendant health issues in prolonged standing, particularly while wearing high-heeled shoes in the workplace.
"If the muscles have been overloaded because of the prolonged standing position, there will be a burden on our back as well as on our legs. There will be pain because of fatigue. What will be affected here are the joints, the musculoskeletal system. It can cause some problems in the spine, in the lower legs, and in the end, if this is not properly corrected, one can have arthritis and other related musculoskeletal disorders," she said.
The order also encourages the employers to consult their workers in coming up with other measures that can be implemented to address the occupation safety and health concerns of workers who have to stand at work for long periods.
It said DOLE officers will be inspecting and monitoring "the proper and strict implementation" of the department order.