Concussions & Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Workplace

work concussions mild TBI

Mild traumatic brain injuries occur more frequently than you would think. Concussions and other brain injuries are the result of traumatic impacts like falls, blunt trauma, or car accidents. Essentially, an external impact to the head causes your brain to move inside of your skull. Although some movement is normal, excessive force can cause the brain to contact the insides of the skull and cause bruising, temporary and long term brain damage. According to this 2020 study in the National Institute of Health, there are anywhere between 1.4 to 3.8 million Americans suffering concussions every year, and that is a conservative estimate due to the amount of assumed untreated concussions.

The specialists at Radius TBI have years of experience diagnosing and treating mild traumatic brain injuries of all degrees. The doctors have an acute eye for symptoms indicating concussion as well as assessing the severity of your injury. It is always important to receive treatment for mild TBI’s early, as allowing them to go undiagnosed can lead to permanent long term brain damage. For more information about treating concussions and mild TBI’s visit our concussion treatment page!

Leading Causes of Mild TBI

It is important to recognize who is most at risk for concussions and mild TBI’s. Awareness is the first step in prevention, as an elevated level of safety in specific situations can save you from injury. Below are statistics that have been collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the prevalence of mild TBI’s: 

  • Falls accounted for almost half (48%) of all TBI-related emergency department visits, disproportionately affecting young children and the elderly
  • Being struck by or against an object was the second leading cause of TBI-related ED visits, accounting for about 17% of all TBI-related ED visits in the United States in 2014.
  • Four in five (81%) TBI-related ED visits in adults 65 years and older were caused by falls
  • Motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of hospitalizations for adolescents and adults aged 15 to 44 years of age.
  • Falls and motor vehicle crashes were the first and second leading causes of all TBI-related hospitalizations (52% and 20%, respectively).

Occupations Most at Risk of Concussion & Mild TBI’s

Using this information, we can start to understand who is most likely to develop a concussion or mild TBI, as well as which occupations could be at an increased risk as well!

Construction and Tradespeople

Working on a construction site can be extremely dangerous, even with the incredibly strict safety standards that exist today, it’s just part of the job. Workers are often working at heights where there is a risk of serious falls. Materials are constantly being moved around the site, often at the head level. There are also vehicles and heavy machinery moving in unpredictable ways that can cause injury. These are only a few examples of why the construction industry has the greatest number of both fatal, and nonfatal traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) among U.S. workplaces.

Truck Drivers and Auto Accidents

With auto accidents being the second most prevalent cause of TBI in America, it makes sense that those who are on the road most are more likely to experience an injury. Truck drivers are especially prone to injury as they work long shifts on short turn arounds and can suffer from reduced spatial awareness and mental clarity. Even when well-rested, the more time you spend on the road, the higher your chances are of getting into an auto accident and suffering a concussion from the impact.

Casual and Professional Athletes

You don’t have to play sports at the professional level to suffer a concussion. There are plenty of casual and enthusiast-level sports that introduce the risk of mild TBI’s. At the professional level, as the speed and motion of the sport increases, so too do your chances of injury. High speed, high impact sports like:

  • Football
  • Ice Hockey
  • Martial Arts 

There are sports where it is assumed that wearing a helmet prevents you from injury. Although helmets may prevent blunt injuries like skull fractures and superficial injuries like cuts and scrapes, they do not prevent concussions and mild TBI’s. Your head can be protected by a helmet, but it is the transfer of motion that causes the concussion. The jarring and sudden stop of colliding with an object still causes your brain to move inside of your skull, regardless of the protective headgear. Listed below are other sports that can have an incidental risk of concussion.

  • Baseball and softball (when batting)
  • Cycling
  • Horseback riding
  • Powered recreational vehicles
  • Skateboards/scooters
  • Skiing

It’s important to always be aware of the risks associated with the activities you engage in and do whatever you can to stay safe and protect your head. Of course, accidents can always happen, but the more precautions you take, the better off you will be. When injuries occur, you should always have a plan in place so that you don’t have to make tough decisions under pressure. 

Want to Learn More About Concussion and Mild TBI’s?

If you have questions about concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries or are worried that you may be suffering from a concussion, reach out to the professionals at Radius TBI! Early diagnosis and treatment are critically important for reducing long term effects and preventing brain damage! Call or book a consultation online today to meet with a specialist!

Written by Radius TBI | Concussion / Mild TBI Care