Construction Workers Among Highest Risk for Traumatic Brain Injuries

By Neil Kalra

Over a recent eight-year period (2009-2017), more than 2,200 construction workers sustained a fatal Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) according to the National Safety Council and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These TBI deaths accounted for 25 percent of all construction fatalities that occurred during this period.

And while all construction workers are at risk for sustaining a TBI, yours is even greater if you fit into any of the following categories: More than one increases your statistical risk

  • You work for a construction company that has 20 or fewer employees

  • You are over the age of 64

  • You are not a native-born American citizen

A traumatic brain injury is usually the result of a violent blow to the head, either from striking an object or from an object striking (and often penetrating) the skull. The force of the blow can bruise, stretch, or tear tissue in the brain. This often causes swelling, bleeding, and even more serious harm. The symptoms of a TBI can suggest a wide range of life-threatening injuries depending on the severity of the wound, They range from a mild headache to loss of consciousness. The most common symptoms include:

  • Headache

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Problems with memory and/or vision

  • Weakness in arms and legs

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Dizziness

TBI’s are particularly difficult to treat because of the wide variety of symptoms, the complications they present, and will affect every victim differently; physically and emotionally. They can experience mood and personality changes, and strong physical changes in addition to catastrophic physical symptoms.

The reason construction workers run a higher risk of TBI than others is construction sites are inherently more dangerous than most other workplaces. With heavy machinery, constant motion, and multi-story scaffolding and work surfaces, the most common causes of TBI (including their percentage for overall TBI deaths in the 2017 BLS report) include:

  • Falls (40.5%): Cause more than half of all fatal workplace occupational TBIs. Falls from ladders, roofs, and scaffolds are prevalent at construction sites and all can be prevented if accepted safety protocols are met.

  • Object strike (15.5%): Construction materials, beams and other building supplies must be moved, putting workers at risk of being struck.

  • Vehicle accidents (14.7%): As they travel to, from, and around loud, busy construction sites, it’s difficult for both drivers and pedestrians to avoid these dangers.

But Most Construction Site TBI’s are Preventable

While hard hats do offer the most protection from TBIs, they can’t altogether prevent them. Here are some tips to help protect yourself from a TBI/head injury.

  • Always look for warning signs that clearly state the risk of injury in areas where there’s the highest risk of sustaining a head injury.

  • Often, these incidents happen when workers don’t follow proper safety rules and/or take shortcuts in their work. So, it’s important for construction workers to thoroughly understand job site rules and follow them – always.

  • Follow the quality safety program on your job site and pay attention to all head injury prevention and safety guidelines.

  • Periodically review your company’s safety guidelines to make sure there are no changes; and that they cover all situations you construction workers may face on the job site.

Keeping these easy-to-follow steps in mind at all times can mean the difference between a safe workday and a tragic one.

Whether you or a family member was injured due to a car accident, commercial vehicle accident, or semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve. The attorneys at Kalra Law Firm are dedicated to getting car accident victims the compensation they deserve. Call our office now to speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers to represent you in your case. We offer a free initial consultation and will not charge unless we win your case. Call our New York City and Queens car accident lawyers today if you have any questions about a car accident you were involved in. Call us at (718) 897-2211

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