Regardless of whether you work on a Minnesota construction site or in an office, you could fall victim to a catastrophic injury. Even if your work environment seems safe, hazards may exist that could cause brain injuries. Such injuries can change your life forever, and it might also cause a permanent total disability. Surprisingly, incidents that seem insignificant can cause traumatic brain injuries.
It is essential to understand that a brain injury can occur even if there is no penetration wound to the head. Striking your head against a hard object could be enough to cause severe damage.
Typical causes of work-related brain injuries
A significant number of occupational brain trauma result from fall accidents. While you would likely wear fall protection if you work on elevated work platforms, the following less apparent hazards exist:
- Unsafe stairways: Faulty or damaged stairs can cause you to fall and strike your head against a steel railing, concrete surface or another hard object. Be on the lookout for loose handrails, rusted fire escape stairs and other visible damage that could cause a fall.
- Spills: Cleaning up accidental spills of fluids is essential, regardless of whether it is coffee or any other liquid. You can slip in an unanticipated wet spot and suffer life-changing injuries in the blink of an eye.
- Wet floors: Rainwater that enters through ventilation openings, or leaks dripping from the ceiling, could cause severe slip-and-fall accidents, and putting out warning signs is crucial.
- Trips: Extension cords snaking across walkways, open drawers, and randomly placed objects are trip-and-fall hazards. They can cause you to fall and hit your head.
- Equipment-related hazards: If you work on or near heavy equipment, such as those used on construction sites, you are even more vulnerable. Heavy machines can knock you down or cause struck-by accidents with devastating consequences.
- Falling objects: Any falling object that strikes you on the head can cause TBI or even death. This hazard includes a collapsing ceiling, a compromised wall falling onto you, tools dropped from scaffolds, falling debris on a construction site or insecure stacks falling over.
- Chemical exposure: You might not realize that leaking pipes, chemical discharge and overheating equipment can cause brain injuries. Fires, explosions and the sudden release of steam pose similar hazards.
The seeming insignificance of these hazards makes them all the more dangerous because you might disregard them. If you are aware of your surroundings at all times, you could perhaps avoid suffering traumatic brain injuries.
If you have to deal with the consequences of a work-related traumatic brain injury, you might have many questions about your eligibility for workers' compensation benefits. An attorney with experience in dealing with Minnesota workers who suffered catastrophic injuries can be an invaluable asset. He or she can assist with the navigation of the benefits claims process and work to obtain the benefits to which you deserve.