Foot Injuries at the Workplace
Although workplace foot injuries don’t get much attention, they are much more common than most people might think. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ report, every year nearly 60,000 workplace foot injuries occur that keep employees away from work for extended periods of time. Not only do lost working days lead to huge losses for employees, but employers as well. Studies show that the average cost of a single lost workday is approximately $9600. The report also states that 80 percent of all foot injuries are caused by objects that weigh nearly 30 pounds.
Occupations with the Highest Risk of Foot Injuries
Here are some of the most common occupations that pose a high risk of foot injuries:
Construction workers are at increased risk of experiencing foot injuries as they are constantly exposed to several hazards, such as falling objects and heavy and unsafe equipment that can hit and crush their feet. Moreover, they can also sustain foot injuries from scaffolding and climbing ladders.
Similar to construction workers, bus drivers, and truckers are also at risk of foot injuries for different reasons. These reasons may include heavy cargo lifting, which can sometimes slip and fall on their feet, and climbing in and out of high vehicles. Driving for extended periods in a sitting position can also result in sprains and strains as it can weaken the foot muscles.
• Food and Retail
Employees in the food and retail industry are also at a high risk of foot injuries. Food and retail are those industries that require workers to perform job duties while standing for more than 12 hours daily. This can lead to dry feet, bruised toenails and blisters in the feet.
Workplace Hazards That Cause Foot Injuries
The most common workplace hazards that can lead to foot injuries are:
• Tripping over pre-installed anti-fatigue mats
Several employers have installed these mats in their workplaces to provide comfort to workers that stand for long hours. However, this does more harm than benefit. The bulky build of these mats often causes workers to trip and fall when moving across in the workspace.
• Poor Flooring
Floors that are greasy, wet, uneven or have loose floorboards or an immense amount of clutter pose safety hazards and a high risk of accidents that can lead to foot injuries.
• Lack of Traction in Work Boots
Many slip and fall accidents also occur in the workplace due to improper shoes that can result in a lack of traction between one’s shoe and the floor.
Other hazards that may cause foot-related injuries include:
- Chemical solutions that are accidentally splashed or spilled on the floor, which cause burns on the feet that aren’t protected by proper safety boots and footwear.
- Exposure to extremely cold weather can also cause amputation of the feet and toes
- Slippery walking surfaces can cause a worker to twist their foot or experience a sprain and fracture
Common Types of Foot Injuries on the Job
Employees can suffer from different types of foot injuries in the workplace. Some of the common ones include:
• Sprain and strains
If the ankle of the foot gets twisted, the joints or ligaments in the ankle can get torn and damaged, thereby causing a sprain and strain. In some cases, rest and pain medication may heal the injury. On the other hand, severe cases may require surgery. However, in either case, an employee’s ability to move and work is limited due to foot injuries.
• Puncture Wounds
If an employee steps on a sharp object, they can suffer a painful puncture wound that can limit their ability to stand and walk, thus resulting in missed days at work, especially if they work in the food and retail industry.
• Bone Fractures
If your foot gets caught in heavy machinery, multiple bones can get fractured and crushed, thereby causing permanent disability. And due to these bone fractures, you may never be able to return to work or perform at your normal level of capacity.
• Tendonitis / Tendinitis
If the joints of the ankle in the foot are overused, it can lead to tendonitis. This condition is marked by irritation and inflammation of the tendons. It is quite painful and can lead to serious mobility issues, thereby resulting in missed days at work due to long recovery time.
• Foot Amputation
A worker can also suffer from devastating foot amputation if their foot is caught in machinery. And this condition may require costly surgeries.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim after a Foot Injury
If you have sustained a foot injury at your workplace and you’re unable to work and provide for your family, then consider getting in touch with our workers’ compensation lawyer in Pennsylvania. Our lawyer can provide you with quality guidance and assistance with filing a claim after a foot injury.
It’s important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Pennsylvania because depending on the severity of your foot injury, you could be facing a lengthy rehab period or a permanent disability. Thus, going through the workers’ compensation claim on your own can be extremely difficult. However, with our workers’ compensation lawyer in Pennsylvania by your side, you can focus on your recovery while we handle all aspects of your case to your complete satisfaction.
Our lawyer will protect your legal rights while working in your best interest. At Cherry Injury Law, we have handled numerous cases like yours. We strive to get you justice and make sure that you get fairly compensated for your foot injuries and financial and personal losses. The aim of our team is to ensure that you can seek the best medical care and assistance without experiencing any financial hardship to ensure a smooth and fast recovery.