Some of the most common injuries at worksites in Nebraska and across the U.S. involve brain trauma. While traumatic brain injuries occur more often in certain industries, such as construction sites and warehouses, they can happen in any workplace setting, including office buildings and retail spaces.
What are the causes of TBI at work?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. More than 48% of TBI emergency room visits were caused by falls in one year alone. This can occur if workers fall off scaffolding, ladders, forklifts or even fall from objects left on the floor. The second-leading cause of TBI-related ER visits involves being hit by a falling object or smashed in between two objects.
What are traumatic brain injuries?
The brain sits suspended in cerebrospinal fluid within the skull cavity. A sudden jolt or blow to the head may cause the delicate brain tissue to hit against the hard skull bone. This intense blow may lead to brain tissue damage, including brain bleeding, inflammation and bruising. In some cases, brain injuries may go undetected for several days or even weeks after the injury occurred.
It is critical for workers to be able to identify the signs and symptoms of traumatic brain damage, so they can seek immediate medical attention. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, these signs include the following:
- Consistent headaches, dizziness and confusion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision, hearing problems and other sensory deficits
- Trouble with memory, concentrating or problem-solving
- Seizure or convulsions
- Muscle weakness or tingling in the extremities
Workers may have slurred speech, fatigue, sleeping problems and loss of coordination as well.
Immediate medical attention may help lessen the severity of the damage, so it is important to be seen by a professional if any blow to the head occurs.