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Promoting foot safety in the workplace

There are many employers and employees in New Jersey who do not give foot safety much thought. This is a mistake. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 53,000 foot injuries a year in the U.S. that lead to missed work days. Those who stand for long hours or who lift and move heavy objects are at an especially high risk for foot injuries. The following are a few factors that negatively affect foot safety.

Many foot injuries arise in slip, trip and fall accidents. Wet or greasy floors, uneven floors, loose floorboards and clutter are all potential causes. Anti-fatigue mats, which are meant to comfort the feet of workers who stand for extended periods of time, can become trip hazards. Footwear that lacks traction can also cause slipping.

For this reason, employers should recommend work boots with proven traction and replace any anti-fatigue mats with anti-fatigue insoles. Such insoles usually come with multi-layer memory foam and offer 360-degree support. They are also a more practical and cost-effective alternative to mats.

To increase awareness of foot safety among workers, employers could try implementing an insoles program. By giving out insoles for free, employees can experience first-hand how this extra padding can lower foot pain (and improve productivity). Employers can also set up a break system allowing workers to sit down for a certain amount of time every day.

Promoting foot safety will reduce, but not eliminate, foot injuries. Someone who incurs injuries in the workplace may be able to file a workers' compensation claim and get compensated for their injuries and lost wages. They will need to show that the injuries are all work-related, however. A lawyer, along with third-party medical experts, could assist in this step. A lawyer could also help with the filing and, if the claim is denied, with the appeal.

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