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Common causes of traumatic brain injury in the workplace

According to the Brain Injury Institute, traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the Ohio workplace is a common occurrence. Even workers in an office environment are at risk of tripping or slipping and suffering a serious brain injury. Approximately 20 percent of all workplace TBIs happen when employees fall on uneven or wet surfaces or trip over objects left on the floor.

Falls are a leading cause of TBIs, second only to motor vehicle accidents. The Brain Injury Institute reports that the increase of TBI injuries due to slip and falls may be because the number of workers in the U.S. over the age of 65 has increased over 100 percent in the last 30 years. Occupational TBIs can be fatal and according to a report by the National Institute of Health (NIH), of the 7,300 work-related fatalities studied, 29 percent were due to falls and 18 percent were because the employee had contact with objects or equipment.

Certain industries pose a higher risk of accidents leading to TBIs, including construction, transportation, agriculture, forestry, fishing and emergency medical services. The construction industry is by far the most dangerous, accounting for 1,828 deaths from TBI, according to the NIH study. Common reasons for TBIs include failure to wear a hard hat or wearing a damaged or inferior quality hard hat and suffering a slip and fall or falling object accident. Other workplace accidents that can cause TBIs are machinery accidents, driving accidents and toxic chemical exposure.

Workers, especially those at increased risk of suffering serious workplace injuries like TBIs, should wear appropriate safety gear such as hard hats, closed shoes and gloves. Employers should aim to decrease instances of workers suffering an on-the-job injury by implementing safety measures, scheduling regular safety checks and discussing safety policies with employees.

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