Plastic clogs disrupt machinery in Swedish hospital
Thursday April 19, 2007
A Swedish hospital wants to ban its staff from wearing Crocs plastic clogs, saying they generate static electricity that can knock out medical equipment.
Blekinge hospital in southern Sweden suspects the slip-on shoes, made by US firm Crocs Inc, are to blame for at least three incidents in which respirators and other machines malfunctioned. The mishaps caused no injuries.
Hospital spokesman Bjorn Lofqvist said staff wearing the clogs could turn into "a cloud of lighting" because of the static electricity.
He said there were similar problems with other shoes not designed for hospital use, but the popularity of the Crocs had raised the issue to a new level.
"It's been a problem for many years, but now there are so many people that have them," he said, adding that officials were discussing whether the shoes should be banned throughout the hospital or just in certain sections.
A spokeswoman for Pforce AB, the Forsberg-controlled company that imports Crocs to Sweden, said the company was performing tests on the shoes.
"We take this very seriously," she said, adding that the shoes were very useful for hospital staff. "They are good to work in and have a shock absorption that really helps people who do strenuous work."
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