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The construction industry and severe brain injury risk

On Behalf of | May 15, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Working in construction is risky business. It is an industry that has one of the highest rates of work-related injuries, and many of them are serious or fatal.

One of the common types of injury is brain injury. Although brain injuries can range from mild to severe, many of the cases that occur during construction accidents are serious and can cause life-long consequences.

Factors resulting in brain injuries

According to Safety and Health Magazine, an eight year-long study revealed that 25% of construction -related fatalities were due to traumatic brain injuries. The common causes of these injuries were falls from ladders, roofs and scaffolds. Other high-risk factors for fatal brain injuries were workers aged 65 years of age and older and those who worked for smaller companies that employed 19 or fewer workers.

Brain injury symptoms and treatment

Not everyone dies from a traumatic brain injury, but serious accidents can cause lifelong effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the physical and mental symptoms of TBI are:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Extreme confusion
  • Seizures
  • Agitation or unusual aggressive behavior
  • Weakness in extremities
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting

If the fall affected the base of the skull, there may be damage to the cranial nerves, which result in symptoms such as loss of vision, dizziness, facial paralysis, hearing loss and altered taste sensation. Many people who survive TBIs develop cognitive problems, behavioral issues, communication problems, emotional changes and functioning issues.

Most severe TBIs require immediate emergency care as well as surgeries and medication to prevent additional issues. After a patient stabilizes medically, there is usually the need for short- or long-term rehabilitation. This could include working with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, neuropsychologist, rehab nurse, social worker or vocational counselor.