4 Common Types of Maxillofacial Injuries in the Workplace

Maxillofacial injuries, including soft tissue damage, facial fractures, eye injuries, and nasal fractures, are rare but severe workplace incidents generally covered by workers’ comp.

Maxillofacial injuries refer to injuries to the face, mouth, and jawbone. While these injuries are relatively rare in the workplace, when they do occur, they can be severe and demanding to address. They predominantly arise from incidents like being struck by objects or slip-and-fall accidents. Importantly, these injuries are generally covered under workers’ compensation insurance if they are work-related.

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Experiencing a maxillofacial injury can significantly hinder one’s capacity to perform at work and can have long-term effects on well-being. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most frequent types of maxillofacial injuries in the workplace.

1. Soft Tissue Injuries

As the name implies, soft tissue injuries pertain to the face’s soft tissue, including cuts, bruises, and burns. While these might seem minor, reporting any such injuries is crucial to ensure timely medical attention and initiate the workers’ comp process. In some cases, seemingly minor injuries like cuts can become infected, leading to further complications.

2. Facial Fractures

Facial bones, such as the cheekbones, are susceptible to fractures due to their location and structure. Fractures can result from slip-and-fall accidents or from being struck by objects. The implications of these fractures can be varied. For example, a fractured jawbone can affect one’s ability to chew and speak. Additionally, severe impacts to the face might lead to complications like cerebrospinal fluid leakage, increasing the risk of conditions such as meningitis.

3. Eye Injuries

Foreign objects entering the eye can lead to multiple issues. Corneal abrasion, resulting from an object scratching the eye’s surface, is a common workplace injury. In more severe cases, objects can penetrate the cornea, potentially leading to temporary or even permanent vision loss.

Orbital fractures are also seen in various work settings. These fractures affect the bone structures surrounding the eyeball. Symptoms can range from pain and swelling to more severe ones like double vision or difficulty in moving the eyes.

4. Nasal Fractures

The bones forming and surrounding the nose, including the nasal, maxillary, and palatine bones, are prone to fractures due to their prominent position on the face. Nose bleeds and swelling typically accompany nasal fractures. In extreme cases, an injury might lead to a septal hematoma, a condition where blood clots form inside the nose’s walls. If not addressed, this can result in complications such as a saddle nose deformity or even tissue death in the nostrils.

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With the right safety protocols and awareness, many of these maxillofacial injuries can be prevented. While most are not life-threatening, their impact on one’s quality of life and ability to work can be significant. If you face such an injury in the workplace, knowing your rights is essential. Maxillofacial injuries are generally covered under your employer’s workers’ comp policy, so always report any incidents promptly.

Have you experienced a maxillofacial injury at work? The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann is here to assist. Contact us today to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Get FREE Legal Advice

Call today to speak with an experienced Missouri workers compensation attorney!

Call (816) 399-3706
Updated: October 16, 2023

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