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Article: What is the most common foot injury in the workplace?

Prevent foot injury
Foot Injury

What is the most common foot injury in the workplace?

Irrespective of the nature of your job, foot injuries can have a serious impact on your daily life and work routines. No operating environment is completely immune to foot injury.  According to labour statistics, foot injuries at workplace are becoming quite prominent due to lack of compliance to safety standards. There can be various factors that cause the foot injuries and it is important to understand what are the common foot injuries, what are its causes and how to overcome it.

Common causes of foot injury

  • Wrong shoe choice – Not many people understand the importance of wearing the right shoe and how it prevents major foot injuries. 
  • Long periods at work – Many workers or employers are working for long hours or need to stand on a hard floor due to the nature of the job. It can cause foot problems or injuries to the foot.
  • Working environment- Intensely physical work environments are susceptible to workplace injury such as construction sites or mining areas.
  • Uneven surface – Irregular, hard, rigid or slippery surfaces are at more risk to foot injuries. Any kind of spill can also contribute to grievous injuries.
  • Distraction – Even a slightest of distraction or lapse in concentration while walking or working can cause a foot injury even at familiar work places.

Most Common Foot injuries at workplace

Cuts, sprains, puncture or crush at the foot are the most common occupational foot injuries. It may result from a slip, trip or fall while walking or working at the workplace. Lack of attention or being careful plays a crucial role at the occurrence of foot injuries. Even if your workplace is clear off any hazardous materials, chemicals or broken nails, there are unseen hazards that can surprise you while you are working.  There can be a whole range of other foot injuries at the workplace. Nails, sharp objects or broken items can also cause punctures to your foot sole. However, if you are wearing shoes with puncture resistant insoles and guards then it can be tough for the nails to penetrate. If your job involves coming in contact with inflammable liquid, fire or any kind of chemical, then you may get devastating burns or lacerations that can cause grief and pain for months. Chemical resistant shoes must be worn that have specific safety and guard against extremely high temperatures or chemical exposures. On the other hand, if you are working in environments or regions where temperature drops below zeros, then there’s a great danger of getting a frostbite if you are not wearing the right protection. In severe conditions, it can also lead to tissue damage or toe amputation, so it's important to wear insulated footwear that prevents heat from escaping while it also prevents water from seeping in your feet. 

Importance of Safety shoes at workplace

All workplaces are susceptible to foot injuries due to several reasons. Both workers and employers are at the risk of getting moderate to severe injuries. Any type of injury can have a significant impact to the overall office productivity and can be even fatal in severe working environments. In such cases, it is important for the employers to ensure safety at the workplace by ensuring necessary precautions and safety measures are kept at the workplace. A safe working environment means avoiding all the causes of foot injuries and providing protective footwear to the employees. Identifying the right safety shoe is critical step towards preventing hazardous foot injuries. Footwear manufacturers produce high quality safety shoes that are in compliance to the safety standards at workplace. It is important to choose a safety shoe that follows the principals of occupational health and safety along with providing comfort without compromising safety standards. A high-quality safety shoe must be part of personal protective equipment in harsh working environments and can avoid various causes of foot injuries. 

Necessary and specific guidelines can be issued in which type of safety shoes can either be provided or details can be shared over a notice board or during onboarding of a new employee. If all the safety measures are kept in check, foot injuries at the workplace can be avoided.

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