What are the main causes of broken bones in the workplace?

An x-ray image of an broken arm

From construction workers and truck drivers to office employees and cashiers — just about anyone can suffer a broken bone or fracture in a workplace accident.

Broken bones and fractures can be painful and debilitating injuries that may require surgery and weeks of rest to fully heal. They can also happen at practically any kind of job, as all it takes for a bone to crack, fracture, or break is putting too much pressure on the bone than it can absorb.

While those who use heavy equipment and have physically demanding jobs are more susceptible to having an accident that results in a bone break or fracture, there are certain types of workplace accidents that are known to cause broken bones more than others.

Common work accidents that lead to broken bones and fractures

No matter what type of bone break you suffer while you're on the job, your medical bills and a percentage of your lost income should be covered by your employer's workers' compensation insurance as long as the injury was sustained within the scope of your work.

Some of the most common ways workers suffer broken bones in workplace accidents include:

  • Slip and falls — Whether you fall from atop a ladder or slip on a wet floor, the force of your body hitting the hard surface can cause a bone to break. If you fall down at work, you may suffer a broken hand or wrist as you try to brace yourself for impact. You could also suffer a broken arm, leg, ankle, or vertebra — it really all depends on the severity of your fall and the way you land on your body.
  • Motor vehicle accidents — A lot of people are required to drive as part of their jobs or work on sites around vehicles being driven by others. With that in mind, it shouldn't come as a surprise that vehicle accidents make this list. You can suffer a broken bone in an accident at work with any type of vehicle, but most on-the-job vehicle accidents involve a car, truck, SUV, forklift, bulldozer, backhoe, loader, excavator, or some other piece of heavy machinery.
  • Being struck by an object — Getting hit by tools, building materials, equipment, merchandise, or any other object can result in a bone break or fracture. When objects fall from above, roll, fly, slide, slip or swing and make contact with a worker, the force of the blow can cause a bone to snap.
  • "Caught in" or "stuck between" accidents — A worker's clothing can get pulled into or caught in machinery, mangling whatever body part it makes contact with in the process. Workers can also suffer a broken bone by getting their hand, arm, leg, or foot crushed underneath or in between objects.
  • Repetitive motion injuries — These types of injuries typically affect the hands, fingers, wrists, elbows, and shoulders, but they can also result in injuries to the knee, back, ankle, hip, and neck. Those at risk include construction workers, carpenters, factory workers, and office employees.

Depending on the circumstances of your injury, symptoms of a broken bone or fracture may include:

  • Extreme pain
  • Loss of mobility in the area of the break
  • Bleeding
  • Pale or clammy skin
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Vomiting and nausea

Doctors are able to identify and diagnose broken bones through the use of an MRI machine and/or X-ray equipment. Treatment can range from casting and physical therapy to having the broken bone surgically repaired. Your doctor might also recommend prescription medication to treat your pain and reduce inflammation in the affected area.

Get the medical care you deserve from an experienced NYC orthopedic surgeon

If you're a New Yorker who suffered a broken bone in a workplace accident, your injury should be covered by workers' comp. Under New York law, you have the right to receive medical treatment from the doctor of your choosing, so long as the medical provider is authorized to treat work-related injuries.

At Island Musculoskeletal Care (IMC Bone Doc), we're certified to provide treatment to patients who suffer broken bones and other work-related injuries covered by workers’ compensation in New York.

Our board-certified doctors and staff members have years of experience helping people who have been injured on the job. In fact, our doctors have over 100 years of combined medical experience.

See what we can do for you and contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our offices are located throughout New York City and Long Island, including The Bronx, Brooklyn, Deer Park, Patchogue, Queens, Shirley, and Valley Stream.

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