Are Employers Doing Enough to Protect Construction Workers from Traumatic Brain Injuries?

stockfresh_5975459_doctor-holding-brain-mri_sizeS-300x200Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions and other head injuries can have devastating long-term consequences. All employers must take proper precautions in order to protect workers from suffering a TBI. Construction workers, in particular, are at high risk.

Unfortunately, far too many construction companies are still falling short of their legal duty to protect the safety of their workers. If you have suffered a construction TBI in Western North Carolina or Upstate South Carolina, please contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP today to discuss your legal options.

Traumatic Brain Injuries on Construction Sites

TBIs on construction sites are a major problem. Recently, researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) released a report exploring the frequency of traumatic brain injuries in the construction field. The study was included in the March 2016 edition of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

The study was both illuminating and disheartening. There are many important findings in the study, including:

  • In the period from 2003-2010, an average of 315 construction workers died annually from TBIs.
  • Brain injuries accounted for nearly 25 percent of all construction worker deaths.
  • Older workers and foreign-born workers were both found to be at higher risk for TBIs.
  • Workers at smaller construction companies, specifically those with fewer than 20 employees, were 2.5 times more likely to suffer workplace brain injuries than workers at large companies.

From the data, it is clear that construction companies need to do more to protect their workers. The majority of construction accidents can be prevented with proper attention to worker safety.

Steps Employers Can Take to Prevent Workplace Brain Injuries 

Falls accounted for more than 50 percent of all construction worker TBIs. Working at any significant height is inherently dangerous. Employers need to pay the utmost attention to worker safety in these situations.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules require that construction companies provide all employees with adequate fall protection. The proper type of fall protection depends on the specific nature of the construction project in question. However, companies always need to do something to protect workers from falls. Some actions employers can take include:

  • Instituting controlled access areas
  • Erecting guardrails
  • Installing safety netting or personal fall stop systems
  • Providing proper personal protective gear

Additionally, adequate training can go a long way toward protecting worker safety. Comprehensive training is a key part of preventing TBIs in the workplace. Construction companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that their employees know how to work safely at heights. Safety must come before profits.

Did You Suffer a Workplace Traumatic Brain Injury?

If you have suffered a TBI in the workplace, or if you were injured in any type of construction accident, the experienced work injury lawyers at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP want to help. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today to schedule a free injury and disability case evaluation. Our firm represents clients throughout the region, including in Asheville, Greenville, Spartanburg, Waynesville, and Franklin.

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