Workers who are on their feet all day often know the reality of foot pain. Standing on a cement warehouse floor all day can cause a significant amount of strain on one’s feet, back and legs. Even with the foot pain workers might experience, they face even more risks of foot injuries.
It is easy for workers to overlook the risk of foot injuries since these work injuries are often nonfatal. However, they can be severe and even life-changing for workers in all industries.
How common are injuries to the feet?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), foot injuries affect 4.7 out of 10,000 workers in all industries. This means that roughly more than 53,000 workers suffer serious injuries to their feet each year.
These statistics include a wide range of nonfatal injuries, such as:
- Crushed or broken bones from dropping items;
- Burns from splashes when working with chemicals;
- Punctures from stepping on sharp objects; and
- Sprains or twists from trips and falls.
Some injuries or incidents can even lead to amputations of the toes or feet. Workers in all industries must ensure that they take the proper precautions to prevent these injuries by wearing protective footwear and upholding all safety standards recommended by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and their workplace.
Why are these injuries so serious?
A person’s foot and ankle combined have:
- 26 bones;
- 30 joints; and
- 100 muscles and ligaments.
An injury impacting any number of these often requires a long and slow healing process. Additionally, all of these support an individual’s mobility and balance. Therefore, even the smallest foot injury can limit one’s ability to walk or even stand. This could keep workers out of work while they recover for a considerable amount of time.
Injuries affecting the feet could leave Maryland workers facing significant physical and financial stress as they heal outside of work. However, workers’ compensation benefits can help ease that stress for workers and their families with wage loss benefits (Maryland Code, Labor & Employment §9-602). It is often helpful for injured workers to consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to protect their entitlement to this compensation in these cases.