Fractures in the Workplace

Anyone who had a fractured bone knows how much it affects their daily lives. It can happen practically anywhere; at home, playing sports, at the mall, or at work. When it does happen at work, it can be caused by falling objects, vehicle crashes, equipment malfunctions, slip and fall accidents, or repetitive stress injuries. Although construction workers are thought to be at higher risk for fractures, it occurs across all industries.

Not all fractures are alike, and some are more serious than others. Even worse, complications such as infections, wounds, and long-term impaired function can occur with broken bones. The following is a list of five common bone fractures, followed by information about stress fractures.

  • Closed fractures: The bone breaks but does not puncture through the skin, and there is no open wound.
  • Open fractures: The bone breaks through the skin.
  • Comminuted fractures: The bone shatters into smaller pieces, which can be especially traumatic and cause permanent damage to form and function
  • Displaced fractures: The bone breaks into two or more parts, and the two ends are not aligned like they were before.
  • Non-displaced fractures: The bone breaks partly or all the way through without moving and stays aligned.

Most fractures will heal and do not require surgery. Those that do may require repositioning of the bones, which are then secured with screws. If there is nerve damage, there can be partial or total paralysis.

Stress fractures involve the weight-bearing bones of lower leg, foot, or lower back when the bones develop small cracks. They can occur due to repetitive stress or when the amount of force is more than the bones can bear. Although athletes may be prone to these injuries, they can be work-related, especially if the employee performs tasks that require frequent moving, lifting, or carrying of objects. These fractures may not be as easily diagnosed, since they develop over time. Symptoms include a gradual onset of pain, swelling, and pain that increases with activity and decreases with rest.

A severe job-related fracture injury can create the need for an employee to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. These injuries can lead to temporary or permanent disability, and lost wages and medical expenses can be overwhelming. When an employee suffers a fracture at work, they should let management know and seek medical care as soon as possible because the fracture can worsen if not treated in time. It is also a good idea to keep records of all medical appointments and visits, and to take photos of the accident scene and injury since some insurance providers will deny fracture claims.

Remember, each case is unique, so contact HURT-511 for more information on workers’ comp statute and our personal injury lawyers help injured workers recover the benefits to which they are entitled by law. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, call us toll-free at 800-4878-511 or complete our online form. Our firm handles accident and injury claims throughout all five boroughs of New York.

HURT-511 operates in all boroughs of New York including all Bronx neighborhoods, namely: Bedford Park, Belmont, Fordham, Highbridge, Hunts Point, Jerome Park, Kingsbridge, Morris Park, Morrisania, Mott Haven, Parkchester, Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, Throgs Neck, University Heights and Woodlawn.