By the time they are 80, workers in Florida will have walked about 73,000 miles each — based on the approximately 5,000 steps that the average worker walks every day. In certain occupations, like construction in which employees spend most of the day on their feet, it could even be more. Workers’ compensation claims data shows that about four in 10 claims for illnesses and injuries involve fractures to feet and hands.
These numbers were provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who report that a significant number of strains, sprains and tears that injure ankles and other joints are also among the most prevalent claims. Safety authorities say foot protection does not receive the consideration and attention it deserves. Construction workers, for example, spend most of their days on their feet, and they must cope with various elevations, walking through debris, electrical hazards and water.
The traditional steel-tipped leather boot no longer provides the necessary protection. The appropriate protective footwear must be puncture and electrical resistant, waterproof and provide proper ankle support. The hazard of feet being trapped or crushed by objects, or run over by vehicles must not be overlooked. Feet that are fractured or crushed and amputations of feet or toes are reported to be the most frequently recorded foot injuries.
Although the Florida workers’ compensation program covers all workplace injuries, proving that chronic pain in the feet — from years of wearing inappropriate boots while working — is work-related may be challenging. The insurance company may not be on the side of the claimant. Injured workers may find it necessary to secure the services of an experienced workers’ comp attorney to look out for their best interests. A successful benefits claim will provide compensation for medical expenses and wage replacement.
Source: ehstoday.com, “Putting Your Workers’ Best Foot Forward“, Stefanie Valentic, July 12, 2017