Protecting Yourself From ACL Injuries at Work
Your first shift at the black jack table quickly turned painful and ended with an ambulance ride to Christus. You were headed toward your table, when you tripped over a nearby slot machine cord, and instead of standing behind your table, you wound up falling straight into it—severely banging your knee on the edge.
You tried to save face by rolling off the table and attempting to take your dealer’s position. However, your knee felt like it was on fire. Suddenly, your leg buckled and sent you falling straight to the ground, wailing in pain.
The next thing you knew, you were in the back of an ambulance, headed to the emergency room. The EMS told you that you needed an X-ray to check for a possible ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear.
ACL tears and knee injuries are generally caused by sudden twisting motions—feet pointed one way, hips or thighs twisting in a different direction—and hard impacts directly to the knees. These injuries are unfortunately common in many careers. Poor safety measures and cluttered environments, also drastically increase your chances of a work-related ACL tear.
Safety Tips to Prevent a Workplace ACL injury
Although ACL accidents can rarely be predicted, you can help decrease your odds of severe injury by staying alert and following these simple workplace initiatives:
- Keep the floor clean and clear of debris. Decrease your odds of tripping and falling by keeping walkways clear, dry, and safe.
- Make sure ladders, chairs, stairs, and footstools are all properly maintained to prevent falls.
- When you’re forced to repetitively turn, make sure you move your entire leg, not just your foot or hips. This will help limit twisting injuries.
- Strengthen your knees. You can help prevent tears by stretching your ligaments and muscles surrounding the knees to make them stronger, more elastic, and capable of withstanding a minor fall.
ACL tears can take months to heal and the excruciating pain can last long after the ligament is healed. Don’t put yourself through that kind of life-long pain and suffering, especially when you can help decrease your odds of an accident. Work is stressful enough without having to worry about the threat of physical pain.
Remember, by making sure your workplace is clean and clear and your tools and furniture are properly maintained, you can help prevent not only your own accident, but also co-worker accidents.
Do you want to protect your friends and family from a workplace accident? You can use your social media connections to keep your loved ones safe by sharing this page on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus. Worried about your co-workers as well? Feel free to post it on your job’s community bulletin board or have them contact us directly for more information about workplace injury rights.
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