Traumatic Brain Injury In The Construction Industry

Traumatic Brain Injury In The Construction Industry

Traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability, whether partial or total, in the construction industry.

Are you aware that 2,210 construction workers died from traumatic brain injuries from 2003 through 2010? 

Based on a report published in the March 2016 American Journal of Industrial Medicine, the construction industry has the highest number of severe traumatic brain injuries than any other industry in the United States. 

In 2019, the Texas Department of Insurance’s Division of Workers’ Compensation stated that there were approximately 11,300 reported injuries and illnesses in the construction industry. Statistically, 43 construction site injuries occurred during each workday based on a five-day workweek. 

As you can see, it is undeniable that construction workers have the highest risk of sustaining a traumatic brain injury compared to any other employment by the nature of their work. 

Remember that traumatic brain injury victims require extensive and prolonged medical treatment and rehabilitation to recover, regardless of the cause. 

How long do you plan on enduring a traumatic brain injury without seeking compensation? 

If you, a family member, or a relative suffers from a traumatic brain injury because of a construction site accident, seeking the assistance of a construction accident lawyer is critical to get the maximum compensation you need.   

Costs of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Are you willing to shoulder the steep costs of traumatic brain injury rehabilitation and recovery?

You know better. 

According to an assistant professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, lifetime costs of medical care and treatment for a severe traumatic brain injury range from approximately $85,000 to more than $3 million per case, with the value of lost potential income ten times higher from permanent disability. Moreover, traumatic brain injury victims suffer from long-term neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms, for which treatment necessitates a comprehensive health care expenditure. Victims with moderate traumatic brain injuries may face lifetime costs of about $95,000, while victims with mild traumatic brain injuries face charges of nearly $85,000.

Take note that the cost of sustaining your traumatic brain injury differs from living with the same brain injury. 

Medical expenses are typically associated with a traumatic brain injury, but they are not the only costs you should concern yourself with. Here are some of the many expenses which you may incur in living with a brain injury: 

  • Direct out-of-pocket payments for medical services such as consultation fees, laboratory fees, surgical procedures, prescription drugs, and other treatments
  • Outpatient and inpatient care
  • Rehabilitative therapy, such as physical and occupational therapies
  • Speech therapy
  • Assistive equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches, neck braces, and other devices
  • Cost of a handicap-accessible vehicle
  • Cost of home modifications for handicap accessibility
  • Household care and food preparation
  • Loss of consortium
  • Lost wages and other benefits
  • Loss of quality of life 
  • Pain and suffering

Behind the high costs, the lasting damage of a traumatic brain injury caused by construction accidents goes beyond the injury itself. 

Guidelines to Avoid a Traumatic Brain Injury on a Construction Site

According to an expert, three construction workers die in the Houston metropolitan area per week. 

How many more workers do you think sustain traumatic brain injuries?

Throughout the years, the construction industry has remained the most prevalent employment industry in causing traumatic brain injuries to its workers while on the job. Despite the use of hard hats, construction workers face the threat of unfortunate accidents that can potentially cause serious head wounds and continually harm their well-being. 

A few of the typical construction accidents include, but are not limited to, slip-and-fall accidents, caught-between accidents, electrocution accidents, gas leaks, fires and explosions, repetitive stress injuries, trench or ground collapse, crane and hoist accidents, elevator shaft accidents, forklift accidents, machinery accidents, and other heigh-related accidents. 

Check out all these guidelines on how to avoid construction-related brain injuries while at work. 

a man in yellow vests and a man in yellow vests lying on the ground suffering traumatic brain injury

Wear a Hard Hat

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides the hard hat requirements for construction industries with standard 1926.100.

If you are working at a construction site, wear the hard hat the employer provides to protect yourself from the possible danger of traumatic brain injury from impact, striking your head against fixed objects, falling or flying objects, or electrical shocks or burns. 

Remember that hard hats serve as your protective coverings from unexpected situations.

Before starting your work day, inspect your hard hat and other equipment for your safety and protection. By the end of the day, recheck your equipment for proper maintenance. 

While there is no provision for the expiration date of this safety equipment, the generally accepted rule is to replace the hard hat every five years and the support strap every year.

Always replace a hard hat that suffered from any impact, even if the damage is barely noticeable. You must not compromise your safety over the convenience of using the same hard hat every day. 

If your hard hat shows signs of ordinary wear and tear, especially dents and cracks, do not use it anymore. Instead, inform your employer and find a replacement. If you hear creaking sounds, it is a warning sign that your hard hat must get a replacement as soon as possible. 

You do not want to keep working without protective gear on your head. 

Ensure that your hard hat fits appropriately. If it is too small or too big for you, it will not serve its purpose of protecting you from danger. 

It is also essential to put warning signs on your hard hat that can offer greater visibility during the night, such as reflective stick-on, hard hat area message tape, and other products.

While keeping abreast with OSHA standards is your employer’s role, keeping yourself updated on the changes to these standards will do you no harm. 

Follow Fall Protection Protocol

Historically, falls are the number one cause of fatalities and severe injuries in the construction industry. Due to the growing number of deaths, OSHA also has a standard for fall protection. 

In general, construction industries are bound to protect their workers from height-related accidents by installing the following:

  • Guardrail systems
  • Personal fall arrest systems
  • Safety net systems
  • A warning line system and a safety monitoring system
  • A combination of conventional fall protection systems and warning line systems

Just as OSHA emphasizes the importance of the above methods, the Administration equally recognizes the value of the fall restraint system as a means of prevention. If used appropriately, this tethers the worker to prevent a fall from any distance. 

If you are a construction worker, wear your fall restraint equipment before you start your workday, such as a body harness, connectors, an anchorage, and other necessary devices. 

Stay in the same walking or working areas as with other workers, for instance, a marked floor hole and a guardrail surrounding it. Do not attempt to walk in dangerous areas to avoid tripping or stepping into holes (including skylights) by covers. 

Despite the presence of fall restraint systems and fall protection training programs, you must personally ensure that a qualified person trains you to be in these hazardous areas. Proper training will help you identify potential situations at the job site which may place you and your co-workers at risk. 

As a construction worker, you must be particularly cautious in every move. 

Know Your Surroundings

The most apparent safety advice when you are in a construction zone, especially as a construction worker, is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you lack the necessary awareness, you are exposing yourself and your co-workers to high-risk situations, which can lead to tragic accidents. 

Hazards can be everywhere, like those which cause slip and trip accidents, fall accidents, and machinery accidents, among others.

Therefore, if you feel unsafe, stay away and talk to your supervisor regarding the hazard. Ask your co-workers if you still need to learn whether the area is hazardous. 

Be on high alert as you start your workday. Always mind yourself first. Your safety and well-being must be at the top of your concerns. 

Abstain from getting distracted by the loud noises of the heavy equipment at the construction site. Never take your eyes off the road when driving a forklift. Be familiar with all the warning signages to avoid dangers in the work area.

Avoid multitasking as much as possible. Instead, focus on the task at hand before you proceed to another. Take your time completing a task. Do not rush.

Do not work if you are fatigued. 

Do not ever violate a safety policy to resolve a problem quickly. Most accidents in the construction industry happen because of prioritizing production or quality over safety. 

Stay aware of your work surroundings, as you may overlook potential hazards on the construction site. 

The Path to Maximum Compensation 

If you suffered a traumatic brain injury from falling, slipping, and tripping or from being hit by a piece of heavy machinery to the head at a construction site where you work, a skilled construction accident attorney could help you file a workers’ compensation claim with ease. 

Why take chances?

If you wait too long to file the claim, you may not be able to recover the compensation that you need. Do not shy away from these construction industries. Learn your rights, explore your legal options, and fight for maximum compensation. 

Remember that you do not have the luxury of time to file this type of claim.  

There is no other time. 

Reach out to us now for a free case evaluation.

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