Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Construction Industry
The construction industry has the largest number of fatal and non-fatal traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the U.S. workplace.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2,210 construction workers died from a TBI between 2003 and 2010. The deaths due to TBI represented 25% of all construction fatalities during the period.
The numbers also revealed good news in that the rate of fatal TBIs in construction has decreased by 6.2% each year in the period 2003 to 2010. This decline can be attributed in part to the overall decline in both work-related deaths and fatal TBIs (including non-work-related). Also, since this period encompasses several years of the recession that began in 2007, construction employment and spending were down resulting in fewer workers exposed to construction hazards.What Causes Traumatic Brain Injuries in Construction?
A TBI typically results from a blow to the head caused by penetration or the head striking an object. This forceful blow can cause brain tissue damage which can result in bleeding and swelling. Symptoms range from a mild headache to loss of consciousness and include headache, nausea, memory problems, vision problems, dizziness and trouble concentrating. You can read more about traumatic brain injuries in our earlier blog.
TBIs in the construction industry are commonly caused by:
- Falls. These account for more than half of fatal construction TBIs. Falls can occur from roofs, scaffolds and ladders.
- Being struck by an object. Beams and other building supplies are constantly moved around a construction site, increasing the risk of a worker being struck in the head.
- Vehicle accidents. A busy and loud site can make it difficult for workers to be alerted to dangers, especially when the work site has a lot of vehicle and heavy equipment traffic.
Is it possible to reduce the risk of a construction worker suffering a TBI?
Some practical steps that can increase worker protection include:
- Wear a hard hat when required. Make sure the protective hat is of good quality and is not damaged.
- Observe all fall protection requirements. Always use safety harnesses or lines when required. Use guardrails. Ensure that holes in work platforms or in the ground are marked or guarded.
- Be alert to hazards. Prevent serious accidents and TBIs by being aware of your surroundings and taking appropriate actions.
If you or a family member has been injured in a construction accident or has suffered a traumatic brain injury, or has been injured by any other type of personal injury, please contact the Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A. immediately. Our experienced attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Diana Santa Maria, personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at (954) 434-1077 or contact us via the website.