Traumatic brain damage is one of the most common workplace injuries in Massachusetts and throughout the United States. From warehouses and construction sites to offices and retail settings, brain injuries can affect workers from a wide-range of industries.

Proper training may teach workers how to protect themselves at the work site by wearing appropriate safety equipment, keeping the workplace clean and being aware of potential dangers. However, it is up to you to understand how to implement these procedures into your work return.

A look at the facts

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that every day, approximately 155 people die from traumatic brain related injuries. Furthermore, brain injuries result in 2.87 million hospitalizations, deaths and emergency room visits each year.

Top causes of brain injuries

The CDC reports falls as the number one cause of TBIs at the workplace. This includes workers who fall from scaffolding, ladders, forklifts and other heights. It also includes those who are injured by slip-and-fall accidents or falling over an object obstructing the walkway.

Being hit by a falling object is the second leading cause of emergency room visits caused by traumatic brain injuries.

Identify the signs

Signs of traumatic damage may take hours, days or weeks to present themselves. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, these include the following:

  • Consistent headaches with increasing intensity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slurred speech and/or trouble swallowing
  • Muscle weakness and/or tingling in the extremities
  • Dizziness, confusion and trouble concentrating
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

Keep in mind that the signs and symptoms of brain injuries differ depending on where the brain injury occurred and the intensity of the impact. It is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as possible after the injury occurs.