Individuals who work in the construction industry face an increased risk of injuries on the job. According to data available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), we can see that approximately 20% of all workplace fatalities across the country during a recent reporting year occurred in the construction industry. However, many other individuals sustain injuries and do not lose their lives. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are a regular occurrence.
How TBIs Occur on Construction Sites
There has long been a connection between traumatic brain injuries and construction sites. The women and men who work in the construction industry face significant risks each day. In fact, according to data available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), we can see that approximately 20% of all workplace fatalities across the country during the most recent reporting year occurred in the construction industry. Not all of the deaths occurred as a result of head injuries, but the industry is filled with hazards that can cause TBIs.
Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries at a construction site include:
- Falls from varying heights
- Objects falling from higher elevations onto workers
- Scaffolding or ladder failure
- Defective products or a lack of machine guards
- Puncture wounds caused by objects
- Inhalation of hazardous chemicals
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than 2,200 individuals lost their lives as a result of traumatic brain injuries at a construction site from the years 2003 to 2010. At the time, this represented 25% of all construction fatalities. However, the CDC did state that there had been a decrease in total fatalities caused by traumatic brain injuries at construction sites.
The CDC study found that workers in smaller construction companies were much more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries than those working for larger companies, likely due to the resources, training, and materials available. Male construction workers were seven times more likely than females to die as a result of a traumatic brain injury. Additionally, older workers were four times more likely than younger workers to experience a fatal TBI at a construction site.
Compensation for Brain Injury Victims
Sustaining a traumatic brain injury at a construction job is devastating. It is imperative for workers to be able to recover compensation for their losses. In general, most construction workers who sustain on-the-job injuries will be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits that cover all of their medical expenses and a major portion of their lost wages.
If the employee is covered through workers’ compensation insurance, then they likely will not be able to file a lawsuit against their employer to recover additional compensation. However, if there was a third party responsible for causing the traumatic brain injury, the victim may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover additional compensation for their losses. This can include total coverage of their lost wages as well as compensation for their pain and suffering damages.
Traumatic brain injuries can result in significant temporary or permanent disabilities, which is expensive. It is imperative for construction accident TBI victims to work with a skilled attorney who has experience handling these claims.