From:"Karen Weidenheim"

Dear HIstonet, This is certainly a problem.  As a neuropathologist I
almost always wear flat rubber/polymer soled shoes at work because of
the problem Tim has noted.  Flat rubber/polymer soled shoes that look
reasonably professional are available.  If I think I just must wear
dress shoes for some meeting or conference I bring them to work and put
them on for that purpose only.  You might suggest this to your boss.
One is also supposed to wear closed toe shoes in the lab at least in
New York State--another thing most attendings and a few techs  ignore. 
The rule is meant to protect your feet if you spill formalin, bleach,
acid etc.  Having spilled on myself before, I also suggest this is a
good idea.
I have known at least one (very fashionable) pathologist who broke her
ankle due to paraffin on the floor.  After that they carpeted the
corridor outside the lab and  put in a schedule of regular stripping for
the lab floor itself.
I think safety is more important than looks in the path lab and I think
any dress code that one's hospital may have should consider what we work
around when they judge our dress.

Karen M. Weidenheim, M.D.
Professor of Pathology, Clinical Neurology and Clinical Neurosurgery
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Chief, Division of Neuropathology
Montefiore Medical Center
111 East 210th Street
Bronx, NY   10467 
(718) 920-4446
FAX (718) 653-3409
Beeper (917) 556 3696
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>>> Tim Wheelock  8/5/2003 6:55:08 PM
Hi Everyone:

A problem.
My boss, who wears dress shoes with half-size high heels (the heels
a broad base to them, not the "stiletto" type), has been having
slipping on my laboratory's floor. I am really afraid that she is going

to actually fall and injure herself.

I myself have no problem in the lab, since the soles of my shoes are 
rubber or plastic polymer. Sneakers work fine as well.
I manage a neuropathology laboratory which means I use paraffin
Although, I keep the floor clean, I think that the residual wax near
embedding and sectioning stations may get spread around the rest of the

lab by my shoes.

So far, I have put a "CAUTION" sign up on my laboratory door advising 
people to excercise caution when entering the lab, especially when 
wearing dress shoes, in order to at least increase awareness.

Perhaps, I should put the laboratory floor on a regular "preventative 
maintenance" schedule of cleaning and waxing to minimize the amount of

wax on the floor.
Then again, maybe I should ask the maintenance people not to put any
on the floor after they clean it. Perhaps it is this wax that is part
the problem.

Has anyone ever had this problem? How did you solve it?

I would appreciate any advice anyone may have.

Tim Wheelock
Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center
McLean Hospital

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