Traumatic brain injuries at work
A workplace accident lawyer discusses the dangers
Workplace accidents often involve serious head injuries. In particular, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) sometimes occur on the job, resulting in severe physical and psychological consequences. An estimated 2.87 million traumatic brain injury accidents occur every year, according to statistics compiled by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA).
In an instant, you or a loved one can sustain a TBI on the job that can result in a severe injury, a permanent disability, or even a fatal workplace accident. So why do TBI accidents happen at work? What are the common causes? What can workplaces do to prevent such injuries? And what should you do if you or a loved one sustained a TBI on the job? Below, you can find the answers to these questions and many more.
What are the common causes of TBI in the workplace?
Traumatic brain injury accidents at work happen for many different reasons. According to Occupational Health & Safety, here are some of the most common causes of workplace accidents that result in concussions and other forms of TBI.
Falls from a height
Close to half (48%) of the TBI accidents that involve emergency room treatment occur due to falling from a height, such as a ladder, scaffolding, or a roof. Employers should provide their workers with proper safety gear, including hard hats, safety harnesses, and other personal protective equipment (PPE). They should also regularly inspect safety gear to make sure it’s working properly and provide appropriate safety training to workers on a regular basis.
Slip and fall accidents
Many workers slip, fall, and hit their heads, the blunt force trauma of the impact causing a TBI that requires medical care. Promptly cleaning up spills, posting warnings about slippery surfaces that have been mopped or waxed, and keeping stairs, walkways, and other common areas clear of clutter are all measures employers can take to keep their workplace free of slipping hazards. In certain industries, employers should also ensure their employees have proper footwear with adequate traction.
Objects falling and striking a worker
Tools, materials, and other objects should be put away and secured to prevent them from falling on workers. In the case of construction sites, for example, a hammer or other objects can fall from a ladder, roof, or another elevated surface, hitting another worker below. Screens, scaffolds, debris nets, canopies, and catch platforms can be used to catch or block falling objects from hitting a worker in the head and causing a traumatic brain injury.
Work-related car accidents
Many times, an employee needs to drive as part of their job. Unfortunately, a crash can cause the worker to suffer a concussion or more severe traumatic brain injury. Employers should always promote the wearing of seat belts and safe driving habits. That means driving sober, obeying the speed limit, avoiding distractions (cellphones, food, drink, etc.), and following all the rules of the road.
What should I do if I sustain a TBI at work?
If you or a loved one sustained a TBI on the job, it’s critical that you take certain steps right away for your health, safety, and to protect your rights:
- Seek immediate medical attention, including going to an emergency room if necessary.
- Tell your supervisor or a manager at work that you were hurt in an accident while on the job.
- Follow your doctor’s instructions. If your medical provider tells you to rest and recover, do exactly what the doctor tells you to do. Not following a doctor’s instructions after a brain injury can have serious consequences.
- Talk to a workplace accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn more about your legal rights.
If you sustained a TBI on the job in Pennsylvania, schedule an appointment with a lawyer at Vellner Law, P.C. We have years of experience dealing with workplace accidents and workers’ compensation claims statewide. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation right now. We have offices in Bethlehem and Allentown.