Construction Industry Has Most Traumatic Brain Injuries

It may come as no surprise to construction workers, but a new study indicates that the construction industry has the highest number of traumatic brain injuries of all sectors of the U.S. workforce. For a variety of work-related injuries, construction workers may be able to make claims for workers' compensation benefits.

The study, The Epidemiology of Fatal Occupational Traumatic Brain Injury in the U.S., analyzed data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injury and the Current Population Survey, and it was performed by investigators from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The aim of the study was to understand the magnitude of the problem of traumatic brain injury, to identify at-risk subgroups and to document trends that could lead to development of injury-prevention strategies.

In addition to the prevalence of traumatic brain injury, the study also found that the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the construction industry has shifted from motor-vehicle accidents to falls. This may be a result of an older workforce in which the number of workers age 65 and older - who are more susceptible to falls - has increased by 101 percent from 1977 to 2007.

Construction Safety Gear

Although there is a greater risk of on-the-job injuries for construction workers, each person can take steps to safeguard against that risk by using OSHA-approved personal protective equipment (PPE), including:

  • Eye, face and head protection such as safety glasses and helmets
  • Protective clothing including long sleeves and pants, gloves and work boots
  • Respiratory devices or masks
  • Protective shields and barriers

Construction employers are required to provide and maintain safety equipment in sanitary and reliable conditions. Additional protective equipment should be provided by an employer if the jobsite exposes workers to the possibility of absorbing, inhaling or coming into physical contact with hazards such as:

  • Dangerous work environments or work processes
  • Chemical hazards
  • Radiological hazards
  • Mechanical irritants

Construction site accidents can occur from a variety of causes and result in severe injuries, including traumatic brain injury. If you have been injured in a construction site accident, contact a knowledgeable lawyer. An attorney with experience in construction-accident cases can help you understand the various sources of compensation that may be available to you and assist you in obtaining the necessary medical care and rehabilitation you need to recover.