Whether you work at a busy construction site or in an office environment, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can happen when you least expect it. Certain industries are known to be more hazardous than others, but one slip on a wet surface in an otherwise risk-free office can result in a life-altering TBI. According to The Brain Injury Institute, close to 20 percent of all workplace TBIs occur when someone falls on a wet or uneven surface. Regardless of where you work, but especially if it is in one of the high-risk industries, it is important to be diligent about safety. Always wear protective dress and gear when necessary and do not drive or operate machinery while drowsy.
TBIs occur when the head sustains a severe blow from a hit or fall. When this happens, it can affect the brain’s ability to function normally, leading to injuries that can range from mild concussions to permanent physical or cognitive impairment.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) released a study that examined 7,300 fatal workplace TBIs. Of the 7,300 TBIs studied, the NIH broke them down into the following causes:
- Motor vehicle accidents: 31%
- Falls: 29%
- Physical assaults and violent acts: 20%
- Contact with dangerous equipment or other hazardous objects: 18%
Construction Industry Tops the List of Hazardous Work Environments
Even when workers take the appropriate precautions and wear the right safety gear, TBIs can still happen, especially at a construction site where there are potential hazards around every corner. For example, a TBI can occur even if a construction worker is wearing a regulation hard hat. While the use of a hard hat certainly protects the worker and reduces the risk of TBIs or other head injuries, it does not provide 100 percent protection.
It is widely known that the construction industry is one of the most dangerous work environments. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the construction industry has the highest risk of TBIs as a result of falls, trench collapses, and scaffold collapses. In addition, approximately 25,000 injuries and close to 36 fatalities each year are caused by falls from stairways and ladders at construction sites.
The following information about construction-related brain injuries was published in Brain Injury, Vol. 23:
- The most common cause of head injuries were falls.
- The age group with the highest incidence of TBIs was 25 to 34 year olds.
- Workers over the age of 45 were less likely to be injured in the mornings than workers under 45.
- August had the highest incidence of TBIs; December had the lowest.
- TBI accidents were more likely to occur around lunchtime.
In addition to the construction industry, the following are examples of other high-risk industries where traumatic brain injuries are common:
- Emergency Medical Services
Public Health Impact of TBIs
TBIs have a considerable impact on society due to their frequency and the high morbidity and mortality rates associated with them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over five million Americans require long-term or permanent care as a result of a TBI. The costs for medical care and other related costs totaled close to $60 billion in the United Sates in the last decade.
In addition to the high costs associated with treating a TBI, the victim often suffers from a wide range of functional impairments that affect cognition, language, emotions, and behavior. The emotional impact on the victim and his or her family can be devastating. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you and your family determine the best legal course of action based on the circumstances of your injury and guide you through every step of the claims process.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Workers Suffering from TBIs
If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI from a work-related accident, contact the dedicated Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We are committed to providing you with comprehensive, personalized legal counsel and will not stop fighting until we secure the maximum financial compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.