Employers in California want to be especially careful when it comes to their employees’ foot safety. Foot injuries can, after all, permanently diminish a workers’ ability to earn a living. Every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 53,000 foot injuries that occur that lead to time off work.

A number of factors can raise the risk for foot injuries, such as wet, greasy or uneven flooring and footwear that does not provide the needed traction. Employees who are suffering from foot pain beforehand may more easily lose their balance and be injured. Trip hazards like anti-fatigue floor mats and loose floorboards are another all-too-common factor in these types of injuries.

Employers can improve the situation in various ways. For example, rather than using anti-fatigue floor mats, which are bulky, they could encourage their workers to wear anti-fatigue insoles in their boots. An insoles program in general should be set up for workers’ education and benefit. Employers should recommend good work boots with adequate traction, too.

The next obvious step is to raise awareness of foot-related hazards through safety training. Employers should also give workers additional break time to rest their feet (two 10-minute breaks a day, for instance) and try to create a more relaxing and less stressful work environment.

Above all, workers should be immersed, as it were, in a safety-minded culture. However, this will not necessarily prevent all injuries, which is why there are workers’ compensation laws in place. Victims, for their part, may face opposition from their employer, so they may want a lawyer to help throughout the process.