Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of foot and ankle injuries in workplaces.
A work-related foot or ankle injury can prove more painful and troublesome than you may think. These injuries can severely limit a worker’s mobility and ability to perform his job duties and even daily activities. Foot and ankle injuries can also lead to permanent disability. In this article, we will discuss the common work-related causes of foot and ankle injuries, types of foot and ankle injuries and benefits available to injured workers.
Work-Related Causes of Foot and Ankle Injuries
Foot and ankle injuries can occur as a result of a single incident or from overuse. Some common causes include:
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Fall from height
- Being caught in heavy machinery
- Walking or standing for longs periods of time
- Repetitive motion
- Stepping on sharp objects
Why Are Foot and Ankle Injuries So Common in the Workplace?
Foot and ankle injuries are some of the most common workplace injuries. In 2018 alone, over 96,000 foot and ankle injuries were reported in the workplace.
Here are some of the most common reasons these injuries occur in the workplace.
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
One of the main reasons why foot and ankle injuries are so common in the workplace is because many people wear the wrong type of shoes for the work they are performing. While it may be your right to wear whatever shoes you want to work, wearing shoes that are too tight, too loose, have high heels, or don’t provide enough support can put unnecessary stress on your feet and ankles and can lead to an injury.
Standing for Long Periods
Another reason why foot and ankle injuries are so common in the workplace is that many people have to stand for long periods. Over time, this can lead to fatigue and pain in the feet and ankles. Additionally, standing on hard surfaces for long periods can also cause Calluses and bunions.
Another reason why foot and ankle injuries are so common in the workplace is repetitive motions. For example, if you have a job that requires you to stand in one place and do the same motion repeatedly (like stocking shelves or assembly line work), you’re at a higher risk for developing a repetitive motion injury in your feet or ankles.
Unsafe Work Conditions
Some workplaces are more dangerous than others. If you work in an unsafe environment, you’re at a higher risk of sustaining a foot or ankle injury. For example, if you work in a construction zone and there’s debris on the ground, you could trip and fall, injuring your feet or ankles.
Workers at Risk of Foot and Ankle Injuries
Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of foot and ankle injuries in workplaces. While any worker can suffer a work-related foot or ankle injury, some workers are more likely to suffer these injuries than others:
- Workers in manufacturing industries including laborers, roofers, carpenters, masons
- Auto mechanics
- Workers in the retail industry like waiters, cashiers, retail clerks, cooks
Common Work-Related Foot and Ankle Injuries
There are a wide variety of workplace foot and ankle injuries that a person can suffer. Some commonly reported injuries are:
- Bone fractures: Foot, ankle, and toes have small bones that can easily break in a workplace accident. If the worker is caught between parts of machinery or is crushed under moving parts or a motor vehicle, they can suffer multiple fractures.
- Puncture wounds: A puncture wound from stepping on a sharp object or from a power tool can limit the worker’s ability to walk and stand.
- Sprains and strains: A worker can twist or turn their ankle and can suffer an ankle strain or sprain. While in most cases RICE and pain medication is enough to treat a strain or sprain, in serious cases surgery may be required.
- Tendonitis: It is the irritation or inflammation of the tendons around the ankle joints resulting from overuse.
- Burn injuries: Chemical spills can cause serious burn injuries.
- Cartilage damage: When a worker suffers a serious fracture or sprain, they could injure the cartilage as well.
- Amputation: Amputations are catastrophic, and can occur if the worker’s foot is caught in machinery or the person is injured in a motor vehicle accident. Severe fractures or crush injuries can necessitate medical amputation.
Suffered a Work-Related Foot or Ankle Injury?
If you have injured your foot or ankle in the workplace, you may be able to claim workers compensation benefits. Contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann to understand your rights.
Call us at (314) 361-4300 or fill out our online contact form to request a free consultation.