Prevent Brain Injuries On The Job Site

Construction workers face a high risk of sustaining mild to serious brain injuries. Understand what these injuries are and how to prevent them as you protect yourself during Brain Injury Awareness Month this March and every day.

What is a Brain Injury?

A brain injury occurs from a fall or a blow to the head. The force stretches, tears or bruises the brain and can cause bleeding, swelling and other temporary or permanent conditions.

After suffering a brain injury, you may recover completely or experience a range of permanent physical, mental, cognitive, and emotional complications. For this reason, it’s important to see a doctor right away even if you don’t think your injury is serious.

Brain Injury Side Effects

The symptoms of a brain injury range from mild to fatal and may appear days or weeks after an accident. Depending on the injury severity, you may experience:

  • Headache.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Lack of coordination.
  • Concentration or memory loss.
  • Fatigue.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Speech problems.
  • Limb weakness.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Seizures.
  • Mood changes.
  • Coma.
How do Brain Injuries Occur?

Construction professionals face a high risk of suffering brain injuries because they work around heavy equipment, on high surfaces or in constant motion. The most common causes of brain injuries include:

  • Falls from ladders, scaffolds, roofs, cranes, and other heights on the job site.
  • Slips on wet, icy or debris-covered ground.
  • Vehicular accidents that occur during the commute to the job site or while operating equipment on site.
  • Blows from construction materials, beams, rolling objects, and other items.
  • Electrocution while working on or around electrical components like power lines or wiring.
  • Getting caught in or between objects, such as running equipment, masonry materials or wood piles.
Tips to Prevent Brain Injuries

Numerous precautions on the construction site can protect you from a brain injury.
  • Plan for safety. Evaluate the job site to determine its brain injury risks, and implement safety procedures that address each of these risks.
  • Follow fall protection protocol. Guardrails, hole covers, safety harnesses, proper ladder positioning, and a tidy work site can prevent falls and slips.
  • Wear a high-quality hard hat. It should fit properly and be replaced when it shows signs of damage or wear.
  • Be aware of your surroundings to reduce accidents.
  • Train employees about brain injury risks and the proper way to use safety protocols.
  • Raise safety awareness among the architect, property owner and other job site visitors.
Brain injuries are common in the construction industry, unfortunately. Protect yourself when you understand your risk and effective ways to prevent these injuries. For more information on safety protocols and protective insurance, talk to your construction insurance agent.
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Further Reading
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