It’s no accident that a lot of construction workers wear steel-toed boots. Foot injuries can happen on the job, and having the right type of footwear is crucial. Every occupation needs something different to keep injuries to a minimum.

Generally speaking, foot injuries are going to fall into two categories. The first category includes lacerations, punctures and crushing injuries. These can happen when heavy objects — like a steel I-beam on a construction site — are dropped on a person’s foot. They can also happen if a worker is struck by a vehicle, caught in a machine or injured with a power tool.

The second category of foot injuries are the ones that happen after falls, slips and trips. Falls are one of the main ways that workers pass away every year, but non-fatal falls are also common. These can result in fractures, sprained ankles, torn ligaments, and more.

The main difference is that these injuries don’t always require a piece of machinery or some other outside force. A worker could simply slip while walking over a wet floor or fall down a flight of stairs. A worker who is running on the job site could twist an ankle on uneven ground. These injuries can be very serious, despite the lack of outside forces, and could in some cases require surgery and months of rehab.

Regardless of the type of foot injury you suffer, you could face mounting medical bills and lost wages while you’re out of work. Be sure you know your rights to compensation and what the company needs to do for you at this time.

Source: Occupational Health and Safety, “Footwear in Focus,” Fred Elliott, accessed Sep. 23, 2016