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Foot and Ankle Injuries from Workplace Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of foot and ankle injuries in workplaces.

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A work-related foot or ankle injury can be more painful and troublesome than you think. These injuries can severely limit a worker’s mobility and ability to perform his job duties and even daily activities. They can also lead to permanent disability. This article will discuss the common 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 due to a single incident or overuse. Some common causes include:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Overexertion
  • Fall from height
  • Being caught in heavy machinery
  • Walking or standing for long 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 foot and ankle injuries are so common in the workplace is that many people wear the wrong type of shoes for their work. While it may be your right to wear whatever shoes you want to work in, 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 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 cause calluses and bunions.

Repetitive Motions

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 with 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:

  • Nurses
  • 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

A person can suffer a wide variety of workplace foot and ankle injuries. 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 a power tool can limit the worker’s ability to walk and stand.
  • Sprains and strains: Workers can twist or turn their ankles and suffer an ankle strain or sprain. While in most cases, RICE and pain medication are 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: Workers who suffer a serious fracture or sprain could injure the cartilage.
  • 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.

Updated: May 6, 2024