If you are part of the Nebraska workforce, you may be at risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury -- regardless of the industry in which you work. The truth is that many incidents that cause TBI result from the disregard of safety regulations by both employers and employees. A fall in any workplace can cause the victim's head to connect with the floor or another hard object or surface, and TBI can result.
Traumatic brain injuries can vary from mild to severe, and the severity will determine the impact the injury will have on the life of the victim and also his or her earning capabilities in the future. The best way in which to protect yourself from suffering TBI is to be alert and careful at all times.
What are the risk factors?
You may believe that you are not at risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury because you are not part of the construction or any other industry that is regarded as dangerous. The truth is that even office environments can be hazardous because you can trip and fall if your foot catches an unaligned desk or a random box or other out-of-place item left in a passage or walkway. An area of spilled liquid, such as coffee, can cause a slip-and-fall incident before anyone has had time to mop it up.
Reportedly, a significant percentage of work-related TBI injuries result from falls on wet, slippery or uneven surfaces and trips over objects that are out of place. Authorities even say falls are overtaking automobile crashes as the primary cause of brain injuries, and some suggest the growing number of workers who remain in the workforce after retirement age may play a role in this phenomenon.
Even having mentioned the dangers in many work environments, some industries do present higher risks than others, based on the number of TBI incidents they report. Although the rate of occupational fatalities is declining, here are some occupations that represent the majority of TBI incidents:
- Construction work
- Transportation such as commercial trucking
- Farm and agricultural work
- Forestry and logging
- Commercial fishing
- Emergency medical services
Precautions and prevention
If you work in an industrial facility, special precautions are necessary where falling objects and moving machine parts pose hazards. Toxic chemical exposure can also cause brain damage. Make sure you wear the appropriate personal protective equipment such as a hard hat, gloves, protective shoes and respiratory equipment when necessary. If driving a vehicle forms part of your job, distractions can lead to serious accidents and possible brain injuries.
You have a right to a safe workplace environment and also to report dangerous conditions or safety violations. You are entitled to seek financial assistance with medical expenses and lost wages if you are a victim of a workplace injury. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, such as severe TBI, that prevents you from returning to work, you may receive additional long-term benefits from the Nebraska workers' compensation insurance program.