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Unsafe boots found in raid

MATERIALS Hundreds of construction workers may have bought dangerous safety boots recovered in east London

TRADING STANDARD officers have warned that hundreds of construction workers could have bought useless safety boots after a raid on an east London warehouse.

Officers from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets say at least 300 pairs of boots trademarked Storm SM 865 and Walklander WL318 have been sold to retailers nationwide. Both are brown and in a climbing boot style. They retail for £35 a pair.

It is not yet known how many pairs have been sold or how many more are being stored in another warehouse in Luton.

Shops have been prevented from selling any more after a local resident complained.

The boots, which have been imported from China, do not meet standards for toe and heel protection and are not thought to be resistant to oil spillage.

They are advertised as Goodyear Welted - a recognised manufacturing method of attaching the sole to the upper of the boot - but they had not been made in this way.

A spokeswoman for Tower Hamlets council said tests had shown the boots could be dangerous to wearers.

She said: 'The boot offers inadequate protection to the wearer's toes - it becomes deformed under pressure. The outsole is too thin at 2 mm instead of 4mm and the upper at the back of the boot is not high enough.

'Under the fuel oil resistance test the boots swelled by 80 per cent and almost 70 per cent, when the maximum specified swelling is 12 per cent.'

The find was discovered after officers carried out an investigation into boots that did not carry safety marks.

David Tolley, acting head of trading standards and environmental health at Tower Hamlets, said anyone who suspects they may have bought a pair of the boots should return them to the shop and contact their local trading standards office.

He said: 'The boots claim to offer safety protection to people working in potentially hazardous environments but they are actually dangerous to wear.'