Why And How To Avoid Traumatic Brain Injuries On The Job

After hitting your head at work, you may or may not experience slight discomfort and figure it’s no big deal. March is National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, the perfect time to take brain injuries seriously. Consider why and how you can avoid traumatic brain injuries at work.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Any blow to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This serious injury occurs when the brain and skull collide and cause torn nerve fibers or bleeding in one location of the brain or across a widespread area. After suffering from a traumatic brain injury, you could lose important physical and mental abilities, which in cases you can regain through treatment or potentially never recover from completely.

Causes of TBI

A TBI can occur in any work environment after several events.

  • Falls on slippery surfaces, down steps or off ladders.
  • Blows from stationary or moving objects.
  • Collisions as a pedestrian, bicycle rider or motor vehicle driver or passenger.
Symptoms and Signs of a TBI

Hours, days or weeks after an injury, you could experience mild to severe signs and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, such as:

  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Dizziness or loss of balance.
  • Fatigue or drowsiness.
  • Headache.
  • Mental confusion, memory loss or lack of concentration.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Sensitivity to sound or light.
  • Ear ringing.
  • Sleep difficulties.
  • Changes in taste or sense of smell.
  • Mood changes or swings.
  • Loss of consciousness.
How to Prevent TBI

Traumatic brain injuries are most common for construction workers, factory and warehouse employees, transportation and delivery drivers, and emergency responders. However, anyone in any industry could suffer a TBI, so take every possible precaution.

  • Follow recommended safety protocols for your job and industry.
  • Wear sturdy shoes.
  • Clean spills immediately and avoid walking or working in wet areas.
  • Wear a seatbelt when driving.
  • Avoid distractions and stay focused.
  • Remove clutter and other obstacles in walkways.
  • Utilize the proper fall protection, including a harness, guardrails and gear.
  • Do not work under the influence of illegal drugs, alcohol or certain medications.
Report all Injuries

Whether you or a co-worker crash onto a slippery floor or slightly bump your head on an overhead beam, report the injury. Traumatic brain injury symptoms often don’t show up immediately, and you’ll need the injury documentation to file a Workers’ Compensation claim and receive medical treatment and other compensation later.  

A traumatic brain injury can affect you for the rest of your life. Prevent these injuries when you take the appropriate precautions at work. For more safety tips and details about filing a Workers’ Compensation claim if you do suffer a TBI, talk to your insurance agent.
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