Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are one of the worst and most expensive possible workplace injuries. A TBI can mean you need to take an immediate leave of absence for treatment and rest. It could also affect your job performance, regardless of whether the symptoms it produces affect your sense of balance, your strength, coordination, cognition or your personality.
Most people understand that a blow to the head or another form of blunt-force trauma to the skull could cause a traumatic brain injury. A fall where you strike your head on the ground, accidental contact with machinery or even materials falling from above at a construction site could all cause a TBI. However, there are several other ways that workers could incur major brain injuries on the job.
Percussive force due to an explosion
Nothing has to physically touch you for you to suffer a brain injury. Sometimes, the shock wave produced by an explosion could cause a brain injury. Military veterans exposed to explosive devices or who endured bombardment could develop brain injuries as a result. Those who work oil and gas or in industrial settings may also have elevated risks of experiencing an explosion on the job.
Violent motion, possibly due to a vehicle crash
If you are at all familiar with shaken baby syndrome, then you understand that you don’t have to hit someone to damage their brain. The skull can injure the brain easily without outside help.
If a human body gets whipped around aggressively, such as when a vehicle flips over in a crash, the force of the brain smashing up against the skull could cause bleeding, bruising and swelling that lead to severe TBI symptoms.
Maybe a piece of equipment backfires or shrapnel gets forced out of a machine in a manufacturing facility. The penetrating injuries to the head and skull that result can also do damage to the brain. Even tiny pieces of hard material that hit the human body at high speeds could penetrate the skin and even the skull, causing damage to the brain underneath.
If you have endured any kind of workplace accident that involved violent shaking, shrapnel, explosions or trauma to your head, you may be at increased risk of brain injury because of your workplace accidents. Getting a diagnosis may be the first step toward getting workers’ compensation benefits for your medical care and possible lost wages due to a work-related TBI.