Every day, countless construction professionals spend the workday on their feet performing physical tasks that require a high-level of tact and diligence. Unfortunately, the project site is a hotbed for injuries, and many employers fail to employ the types of quality training programs that help deter workplace injuries. While we often discuss the dangers of head and body injuries, every part of the body, including the feet, can succumb to injury if the proper preventative measures aren’t utilized.
Foot injuries are extremely common in the construction industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 52,070 cases of foot-related injuries in 2014. These injuries resulted in missed work days and decreased productivity, both of which affect a contractor’s bottom line. In this brief article, a Jacksonville construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law will discuss what all construction professionals need to know about foot injuries on the project site. Helping your workers avoid foot-related injuries can help you mitigate the chance of having to deal with workers’ compensation claims.
The construction industry is no stranger to dangerous working conditions, so it’s imperative that contractors establish a set of mandatory protocols to help reduce the number of foot-related injuries taking place on their project sites. First and foremost, your workers need to have the right equipment for the job. That means requiring employees to wear puncture-resistant, anti-fatigue insoles and other foot-related personal protective equipment (PPE). Simply walking around the construction site exposes a worker to sharp objects, like shards of glass and nails. Therefore, wearing the correct foot protection is requisite to stepping onto the project site.
Fatigue Leads to Injury
When your workers are on the project site, they quickly exhaust their energy by performing physical tasks. You should afford your workers periodic rests to ensure that they remain aware of their surroundings and don’t accidentally injure themselves. Overexertion can lead to significant foot injuries, including swelling, arthritis, and severe foot pain. Employees experiencing these conditions are more likely to slip, trip, and fall, which opens them up to a litany of other potential injuries. The National Safety Council chart book “Injury Facts,” reports that slips, trips, and falls were responsible for 44.5 million injuries, costing companies approximately $967.9 billion in the United States in 2016. It’s also important to note that navigating the uneven terrain inherent to project sites can lead to injurious situations, especially if a worker is fatigued.
Contractors who fail to implement a strategic plan to combat foot injuries could find themselves being issued a citation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If you’ve received an OSHA citation, consult a Jacksonville construction attorney.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.