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TBI prevalent in construction workers' accidents despite hardhats

Employees in the construction industry in California are at a significant risk of suffering work-related traumatic brain injuries. Safety authorities say that construction, agriculture, transportation, fishing and forestry are the industries in which most occupational TBI fatalities occur. While hardhats provide some protection, they do not prevent all head injuries in construction workers' accidents.

The severity of traumatic brain injuries can vary, depending on the type of injury. It can follow a blow or bump to the head, a penetration injury or anything that causes brain movement that disrupts its normal functions. The severity of TBIs can range from mild to severe, with concussions being most prevalent, and while some such injuries heal over time, others could have life-long consequences.

While hardhats could provide protection from objects falling from above or bumps against fixed objects, TBIs often result from falls from ladders or on stairways, scaffold or trench collapses, slip-and-fall accidents, vehicle accidents and more. Many of these happen at times when workers do not think it is necessary to wear hardhats. Also, damaged hardhats or those of a substandard quality will not provide the necessary protection.

Although there is no guarantee that a hardhat will protect a worker against traumatic brain injury, wearing one will improve his or her chances of escaping injury in events of construction workers' accidents. Any medical expenses that result from injuries suffered on the job can be claimed from the California workers' compensation insurance system. The program will also provide wage replacement if the injuries prevented the worker from returning to work for some time.

Source: bisociety.org, "Despite Hardhats, Traumatic Brain Injuries Still Common on Construction Sites", Jacob Masters, Accessed on Nov. 10, 2017

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