Personal Injury Lawyers New York, NY

Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Common on NYC Construction Sites

Paramedics put a bandage on an injured construction worker's head following an accident on the job site.

Construction workers in New York City face many hazards on the job site and are at risk of sustaining severe and sometimes fatal injuries. Among construction accident injuries, head and brain injuries are particularly concerning due to their potential for severe and lasting consequences.

How do head and brain injuries happen in construction?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur in construction accidents due to falls, being struck by objects, equipment accidents, and transportation incidents. They are classified into three levels of severity: mild (including concussions), moderate, and severe.

Symptoms of TBIs vary by the severity and type of TBI. Mild TBIs can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, speech difficulties, dizziness, light or sound sensitivity, and sensory disturbances like blurred vision or tinnitus.

On the other hand, moderate to severe TBIs can lead to extended unconsciousness, continuous headaches, vomiting, nausea, slurred speech, confusion, seizures, pupil dilation, an inability to wake from sleep, lack of coordination, and even coma.

Construction traumatic brain injury risks

Falls are the predominant cause of construction TBIs, responsible for half of all TBI-related hospital admissions, as stated by the CDC. Due to working at high elevations, construction workers face heightened risks of falls from ladders, scaffolds, and roofs. Additionally, the danger of being hit by falling or flying objects is a significant risk on construction sites.

A 2015 study in Injury Prevention revealed that employees at small construction companies with fewer than 20 workers were 2.5 times more likely to suffer a fatal TBI compared to those in larger firms. Those in the steel, structural iron, or roofing subindustries were particularly vulnerable, with falls being the leading cause of these fatal incidents.

Mitigating traumatic brain injuries in construction

Many construction TBIs are preventable through adequate safety measures, risk reduction strategies, and comprehensive training. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, employers must ensure their workers' safety by maintaining a secure working environment.

A worker's primary defense against head injuries is wearing a hard hat. These helmets safeguard against various dangers, including impacts from falling or flying objects, collisions, debris, and electrical shocks.

Workers who don't wear hard hats or wear compromised ones significantly increase their risk of TBIs. Employers and safety managers should equip their teams with hard hats and safety harnesses and ensure the proper installation of safety mechanisms such as guardrails and safety nets.

Additionally, NIOSH, OSHA, and The Center for Construction Research and Training have collaborated on a campaign to reduce fall risks and provide safety recommendations for working on roofs, ladders, and scaffolds.

What should I do if I sustain a traumatic brain injury on the job?

First and foremost, seek medical attention as soon as possible. TBIs can get worse if not treated promptly. A medical diagnosis also creates a clear link between your injury and the work accident that caused it.

Be sure to report the incident to your employer. Include specific details such as the date, time, location, and nature of the work accident. Take pictures of the construction accident scene and get witness statements if possible.

Filing a construction accident claim in NYC can be a complex process. Any errors could jeopardize your chances of recovering compensation. Before taking the next step, speak to a construction accident lawyer at Keogh Crispi, P.C.

Our legal team can inform you of your rights, potential options for compensation, and possible next steps. If you have questions about your claim, we've got answers. Contact us online or call us for a free consultation. We have law offices in NYC and Nyack.

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