Regardless of the industry in which you work, you will likely encounter unexpected safety hazards. Whether you work in an office or a construction site, you will risk suffering a catastrophic injury like a traumatic brain injury. Many workers do not realize that brain trauma can occur even without a penetrating wound to the skull.
Even in seemingly safe work environments, an accidental slip, trip and fall could change your life in the blink of an eye. A traumatic brain injury could be mild or catastrophic, in which case you might be unable to return to your previous job.
Risk factors and causes of TBI
Although some of the causes of traumatic brain injuries are industry-related, many risks exist in all work environments. If you are alert and know what goes on around you at all times, you might recognize the following potential safety hazards:
- Chemical Exposure: Did you know that a sudden release of steam or chemicals can cause brain damage? The discharge from a vent, overheating equipment, leaking pipes, fires and explosions are all serious risks. So, if you work in a power plant, you must be aware of them.
- Heavy equipment: If you work with or share your work area with heavy equipment, take precautions and make sure you are aware of the machinery movement at all times. Backhoes, construction vehicles and forklifts can release contents, strike you or crush you against other objects, all of which can cause brain trauma.
- Dropped or falling objects: Any hard object regardless of its size can cause traumatic brain injuries. This could include the merchandise in a fulfillment center, boxed documents in an office storeroom, tools or other objects dropped from a scaffold, or the collapse of an unstable wall.
- Spills: Good housekeeping is crucial because spills like coffee or other beverages can cause you to slip and fall. Slip-and-fall hazards could also involve drips, leaks, rainwater or some other issue that makes floors wet, and striking your head in a fall can have devastating consequences.
- Faulty stairs: Negligent maintenance of stairs could lead to severe injuries. Both indoor staircases and fire escape stairs need frequent risk assessments for rust, dents, or other types of damage or deterioration, and they should be repaired immediately.
- Trips: Randomly placed objects can pose hazards in all workplaces. It could be building materials on a construction site, a briefcase, an open drawer or other objects in an office, all of which have hard objects against which you can strike your head if you should fall.
These are but some of the causes of work-related traumatic brain injuries cited in benefits claims filed with the California workers’ compensation insurance program each year. However, navigating such a claim while adjusting to life with new challenges due to catastrophic injuries could be daunting. Thus, many workers choose to seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that the injured workers receive maximum applicable benefits.