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Traumatic Brain Injuries on Construction Sites

Posted by Emily Ruby | May 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

Working on a construction site in California is a serious health hazard. Whether you're scaling scaffolding or operating heavy machinery, the risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) looms large. Did you know that more than 2,000 workers died from TBIs between 2003 and 2010? It's a staggering figure.

Man on stretcher after head injury on construction site

The reality is harsh but simple—falling debris, equipment accidents, and even vehicle collisions can lead to life-altering head injuries.

Table of Contents:

Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Construction

Construction workers face a high risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) due to various hazards on job sites. Falls from heights, being struck by objects, machinery accidents, and vehicle collisions are among the leading causes of TBIs in the construction industry.

Falls from Heights

Falls from heights, such as roofs, scaffolding, and ladders, are a major cause of TBIs in construction. A study found that from 2003 to 2010, falling 25 feet or more from a roof was one of the examples of how construction workers suffered fatal and nonfatal TBIs at a higher rate than any other U.S. workplace.

Struck-By Accidents

Being struck by objects, such as steel beams or other construction materials, is another common cause of TBIs on construction sites. The transportation of heavy materials across worksites poses a significant risk to workers' safety.

Machinery and Equipment Accidents

Accidents involving heavy machinery and equipment can lead to severe head injuries and TBIs among construction workers. Proper training and safety protocols are essential to prevent these types of accidents.

Vehicle Collisions

Construction workers are also at risk of TBIs from vehicle collisions on job sites. Being hit by a vehicle moving supplies or equipment can result in serious head trauma.

Symptoms and Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can have a profound impact on construction workers, potentially leading to permanent brain damage. Symptoms can range from physical and cognitive impairments to emotional and behavioral changes, with long-term consequences affecting the worker's quality of life.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms of TBIs may include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and sensory problems such as blurred vision or ringing in the ears.

Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive symptoms of TBIs can encompass memory loss, difficulty concentrating, confusion, and slowed thinking or processing speed.

Emotional and Behavioral Changes

TBIs can also lead to emotional and behavioral changes, such as irritability, mood swings, depression, and anxiety.

Long-Term Consequences

The long-term consequences of TBIs can be severe, affecting a construction worker's ability to return to work and maintain their quality of life. Some individuals may experience ongoing cognitive, physical, and emotional challenges.

Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries in Construction

Preventing TBIs in the construction industry requires a multi-faceted approach, including proper use of personal protective equipment, implementing safety protocols, providing regular safety training, and maintaining a safe work environment. Employers and workers must prioritize safety to reduce the risk of these devastating injuries.

Proper Use of Personal Protective Equipment

The proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as hard hats and fall protection gear, is crucial in preventing TBIs on construction sites. Employers must provide appropriate PPE and ensure that workers are trained in its correct use and maintenance.

Implementing Safety Protocols

Implementing comprehensive safety protocols and procedures can significantly reduce the occurrence of TBIs in construction. This includes regular safety inspections, hazard assessments, and the development of site-specific safety plans.

Regular Safety Training

Providing regular safety training to construction workers is essential for raising awareness about TBI risks and promoting safe work practices. Training should cover topics such as fall prevention, proper equipment use, and emergency response procedures.

Maintaining a Safe Work Environment

Maintaining a safe work environment is a shared responsibility between employers and workers. This involves keeping work areas clean and organized, properly storing and securing materials, and promptly addressing any identified hazards.

Legal Rights and Compensation for Construction Workers with TBI

Construction workers who suffer traumatic brain injuries on the job have legal rights and may be entitled to compensation. In California, workers who sustain head injuries due to employer negligence or work-related factors can seek workers' compensation benefits, which provide wage loss and medical coverage.

Filing a Workers' Compensation Claim

Injured construction workers should report the incident to their employer and file a workers' compensation claim to access benefits such as medical treatment, wage replacement, and disability compensation.

Exploring Additional Compensation Options

In some cases, construction workers with TBIs may be eligible for additional compensation beyond workers' compensation benefits. This can include third-party claims against negligent parties or Social Security Disability benefits for long-term impairments.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Construction workers with TBIs should consider seeking legal assistance to protect their rights and ensure they receive the full compensation they deserve. An experienced work injury attorney can guide them through the claims process and explore all available options for financial recovery.

Importance of Prompt Medical Attention and Treatment

Construction workers who suffer a head injury should seek immediate medical attention to diagnose and treat potential traumatic brain injuries. Prompt medical care is crucial for minimizing the long-term effects of TBIs and improving the chances of a successful recovery.

Key Takeaway: 

Construction sites are hotspots for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) because of falls, getting hit by objects, machinery mishaps, and vehicle accidents. Wearing the right gear and following safety protocols can cut down these risks big time. If you do get hurt, knowing your legal rights helps you snag the compensation you deserve.

Legal Assistance for Injured Construction Workers

So there you have it—the sobering truth about traumatic brain injury hazards in construction. The next time you step onto a job site, remember those statistics aren't just numbers; they're real lives affected by preventable accidents.

This isn't some Hollywood doomsday scenario; it's everyday reality for many workers. By focusing on proper safety protocols and using protective gear like hard hats religiously, we can change this narrative.

Let's make sure every worker goes home safe at the end of their shift because everyone deserves to work without fear of suffering a devastating TBI.

Our experienced Los Angeles construction accident lawyers have a long and successful track record of handling these types of cases and securing maximum compensation for injured clients and their families. Their work injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay any fees or costs unless they recover compensation for you. Call (323) 782-0535 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights from experienced professionals.

About the Author

Emily Ruby

2022 "Women in Law" Award Winner, Emily Ruby, specializes in complex cases, many of which involve catastrophic injuries and deaths. Mrs. Ruby has personally obtained more than $100 Million in compensation for her clients with an impressive 97.4% success rate and is a graduate of the prestigious CAALA Trial Academy. She was selected as one of Forbes' Best Wrongful Death Lawyers and is a writer for Advocate Magazine.


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