Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in construction are a significant concern in Ohio and across the nation. These head injuries can result from various accidents around a construction site and often require immediate medical attention.
The consequences of a traumatic brain injury can be severe
Construction-related TBIs can vary in severity, with some leading to lifelong impairments. Those who have suffered a TBI while working in the construction industry may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering—but the process isn't easy.
Seeking legal representation from an attorney experienced in workplace injury cases is essential to navigate construction-related TBI claims and ensure fair compensation for the injured party.
What is a TBI?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a broad term to describe a range of brain injuries resulting from a violent blow, jolt, or penetrating head injury. TBIs can vary in severity, with mild cases often referred to as concussions (mTBI) and more severe instances leading to lasting cognitive, physical, or emotional impairments.
The severity of a TBI is typically classified into three categories:
- Mild TBI: Commonly known as a concussion, mild TBIs may cause temporary symptoms such as headache, confusion, memory problems, and mood swings. While these injuries are generally considered "mild," they should not be underestimated, as they can lead to lasting complications if not treated promptly and effectively.
- Moderate TBI: In cases of moderate TBI, individuals often experience more pronounced cognitive and physical impairments. Symptoms may include extended loss of consciousness, amnesia, and persistent physical or mental deficits. Recovery from a moderate TBI may take several months or longer, and some individuals may experience permanent disabilities.
- Severe TBI: Severe TBIs are characterized by prolonged loss of consciousness, significant cognitive deficits, and often profound physical and emotional changes. These injuries can have a lifelong impact, necessitating long-term medical care, rehabilitation, and assistance with daily living activities.
Construction workers are at a higher risk of sustaining TBIs than employees in many other industries. TBIs on construction sites can result from various accidents and events, including:
- Falls: Construction workers often work at elevated heights, making them susceptible to falls. Even a fall from a relatively low height can lead to a TBI if the worker's head sustains a blow upon impact.
- Struck-By Accidents: TBIs can occur when construction workers are struck by heavy objects or equipment, such as falling tools, building materials, or machinery.
- Electrical Shocks: Electricians and other workers dealing with electrical systems are at risk of suffering TBIs if they experience electrical shocks that lead to falls or impacts.
- Vehicle Accidents: Construction sites often involve the use of various vehicles and heavy equipment. Collisions involving these vehicles can result in severe head injuries.
- Explosions: In some construction projects, especially those involving excavation or drilling, there's a risk of encountering underground utilities, pipelines, or even explosive materials. Accidents involving explosions can lead to severe TBIs.
- Falling Debris: Workers on construction sites may be exposed to falling debris or objects from above, which can cause head injuries and TBIs.
Keeping construction workers safe
By incorporating these preventive measures into daily work practices, construction sites can significantly reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries:
- Employee Training: Training is the first line of defense against TBIs. Construction workers should receive comprehensive training on recognizing and mitigating TBI hazards before starting any job.
- Hard Hat Protection: Hard hats are indispensable for safeguarding against head injuries caused by falling objects or impacts. Workers must wear them consistently on construction sites.
- Safety Training: Employers and site managers must prioritize safety training, adhering to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines. They are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment.
- Fall Protection: For sites with fall hazards, fall protection measures should be in place. These may include guardrails, safety nets, and lifelines. Workers at heights should adhere to additional safety protocols:
- Roof Work: Always wear a properly fitted harness, use guardrails or lifelines, and inspect fall protection gear regularly.
- Ladder Safety: Select the appropriate ladder, maintain three points of contact, secure it correctly, and face the ladder while climbing.
- Scaffold Safety: Ensure scaffolds are well-secured, stable, and equipped with guardrails to prevent falls.
Seeking compensation for a TBI
If you or a loved one sustained a construction-related TBI in Ohio, seeking legal help is crucial to securing the compensation and support you deserve. Construction-related TBIs can have long-lasting effects on your life, and holding responsible parties accountable is essential.
At Hochman & Plunkett Co., L.P.A., our experienced Ohio construction accident attorneys are dedicated to helping injury victims in the aftermath of a work accident. To learn how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free consultation. Our offices are in Dayton, Cincinnati, Springfield, Columbus, and Troy.