Seeing 1st hand a real problem with ill-fitting waterproof safety footwear (aka gumboots), podiatrist Penny Crawford decided to design & build a better option.
Working as a podiatrist in regional NSW I certainly saw my fair share of foot injuries and problems. I experienced first hand the consequences of the wrong boot for the wrong application, treating conditions ranging from something simple like fungal nails, corns, callous and skin infections to the more serious bone and soft tissue injuries.
The idea for Crawford Boots was actually triggered when safety professionals from the local UG mine approached me to challenge what could be done to lessen the number and severity of such injuries within their workforce. This was just the spark I needed to allow my focus to change from fixing the consequences of injury to finding a solution that would prevent these injuries from occurring.
27 years of podiatry knowledge gave me a great understanding of the mechanics behind an efficient foot and lower leg function as well as the consequences of wearing unstable and ill-fitting footwear. It became fairly obvious that the footwear and the harsh working terrain in an underground mine were the reasons for the spike in complaints and injuries at this site. I quickly realised I couldn’t change the working environment (dark, wet, uneven terrain) so I knew I needed to change their footwear and build them a better boot.
So fast forward many years and I’m pleased to say that in 2022, 4000 UG miners were able to complete their work activities in a safer and more comfortable work boot, being exposed to less risk of injury thanks to the wearing of Crawford Boots. Seeing that sort of positive impact certainly makes all those years of R&D worthwhile!