Vienna hospitals ban Crocs

Vienna’s hospitals said on Tuesday they were banning popular Crocs plastic clogs, often worn by nursing staff, as they may pose safety risks for patients.

“Technical evaluations have shown that they’re not antistatic and could interfere with the proper functioning of precision electronic equipment, or even cause explosions,” said Peter Woelfl, director of technical services at Vienna’s city hospitals.

One of the hospitals in the capital already banned the clogs, recognisable for the large holes in their surface and their often bright colours, last month but the measure will now be applied to all the city’s clinics by the end of the month, he said.

The ban will be especially enforced in operating rooms and intensive-care units, as well as radiology and dialysis departments where antistatic clothing is compulsory, Woelfl added.

“There have been no reports so far of any incidents involving these shoes, but this is a necessary preventive measure,” he said.

Crocs clogs, an American brand, are especially popular among nursing staff, who say they are comfortable and light, and like the fact that they are machine-washable.

Crocs’s spokesperson in Austria, Ernst Widmann, said he regretted the ban, calling it “unreasonable”. But he said the company was already developing antistatic models.—Sapa-AFP

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