Many people associate traumatic brain injuries with car accidents and contact sports. However, a significant percentage of workplace injuries in the construction industry nationwide, including California, cause TBI. In fact, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health tracked work-related fatal brain injuries from 2003 through 2010.
The study showed that over 2,200 construction workers lost their lives as the result of TBI during those eight years. Furthermore, more than 50% of the deaths involved construction workers falling from scaffold, roofs and ladders. Analysis of the numbers also showed that the chances of suffering fatal brain injuries were significantly higher for employees older than 65 and for smaller businesses employing fewer than 20 workers.
NIOSH says the most critical safety standards are proper advance planning to ensure the necessary safeguards and railings are in place. Next comes personal protective equipment like fall arrest protection and hard hats. Moreover, safety training must ensure that all employees know how to safely and correctly use the PPE and how to inspect the gear before each shift.
Traumatic brain injuries could lead to extended hospital stays, exorbitant medication costs, long periods of rehabilitation and vocational retraining. Depending on the severity of the workplace injuries, a live-in caregiver might be required. During the first year, costs can add up to exceed six figures, and recovery can take years in severe cases. The chances of getting maximum workers’ compensation benefits would be better if TBI victims in California seek the support and guidance of an attorney who has extensive experience dealing with workers’ compensation claims involving traumatic brain injuries.