Ankle Injuries on the Construction Site
Construction workers are susceptible to a variety of injuries, including ankle injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sprains and strains are the most common type of construction injury, accounting for nearly one-third of all construction worker injuries. Ankle injuries can be particularly debilitating, resulting in lost work days and costly medical bills. Fortunately, there are steps employers and safety professionals can take to reduce the risk of ankle injuries on the construction site.
Prevalence of Ankle Injuries on a Job Site
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics about 23% of non-fatal injuries on the construction site each year are lower extremity injuries. Ankle injuries are musculoskeletal injuries typically in the sprain and strain classification.
Types of Ankle Injuries on the Construction Site
The most common ankle injuries seen on construction sites include sprains, strains, fractures, and tendonitis. Sprains are caused by the stretching or tearing of a ligament due to excessive force applied to the joint such as turning your ankle while walking.
Strains occur when a muscle is stretched beyond its normal range of motion causing tears in muscle fibers.
Fractures are more serious, caused by a direct blow to the ankle, a trip or fall, or excessive force on the joint.
Ankle sprains are typically most often seen in this industry. However, it is important to be aware of the other types as they can occur and lead to more serious complications if left untreated.
What to do When an Employee Hurts Their Ankle or Foot
If an employee does sustain an ankle injury, the most important thing is to ensure that they receive proper medical attention. But don’t rush to the emergency room just yet!
First thing is to call us at WorkSafe Physical Therapy. We will be able to advise you on whether an emergency room visit is necessary or whether coming into our office is the best option. The exception to this advice is if there is visible blood, deformity, or bone. Those are situations that need to immediately go to the emergency room!
However, if those things aren’t present then give us a call at WorkSafe Physical Therapy. One of our providers will chat with the supervisor, safety manager, etc about the incident and whether or not it is something you should bring the employee into our office for evaluation. Many times, a quick triage evaluation at our office can help prevent a recordable injury.
What Happens at WorkSafe Physical Therapy
When you arrive we will perform any needed testing, including but not limited to post-accident drug and alcohol screens. The injured employee will then be evaluated by either one of our athletic trainers, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, or any combination of the three.
Our providers will then determine an appropriate treatment course that can range anywhere from first aid to a recordable injury requiring medical treatment.
While not all injuries can be treated with early intervention and first aid, many can be. By starting with being assessed at WorkSafe Physical Therapy we can help reduce the amount of costly recordable ankle injuries on the construction site.
Ankle injuries are a common and costly problem for the construction industry. Employers should be proactive in educating their workers about ankle safety, as well as providing proper equipment to prevent these types of injuries on the job site. In addition, having an experienced team, such as WorkSafe Physical Therapy available to assess and treat injured employees quickly can help speed up recovery times and reduce costly medical expenses and days missed from work.
Additionally, WorkSafe can provide on-site safety education and training to ensure employees have the necessary knowledge and skills to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. Whether it is proper body mechanics for lifting or fall protection, WorkSafe has your construction site covered!
Contact WorkSafe to find out how we can help your company today!
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