Hard Hats and Fragile Skulls: Construction Worker Head Injuries
When head injuries occur as the result of a work accident, the consequences can be devastating. There is no such thing as a “minor” head injury. When the skull or brain is damaged—even if the injury is a small bruise or hairline fracture—the effects can be disastrous. Your brain controls every part of your body, including your thoughts, feelings, and mobility. Therefore, when it suffers, your entire body could be affected. Brain injuries like bruising, swelling, and bleeding can cause temporary or permanent headaches, memory loss, mood swings, disability, paralysis, and even loss of life.
Construction Head Injuries
Unfortunately, head injuries are one of the many consequences of construction and maritime jobs. In fact, construction work is rated the most dangerous for suffering traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) while on the job. While these jobs pay well and are readily available, the harsh reality for many Texans is that they pose a significant threat to workers’ wellbeing.
Common construction accidents include slip and falls, machinery malfunctions, falling debris, and structure collapses. Every single one of these incidents can potentially cause a serious head wound.
Despite the use of hard hats, construction workers are at risk for the following severe head injuries:
- Concussions. A concussion occurs when your brain violently shakes against the inside of your skull. As the soft tissues of the brain get battered against the bone, blood vessels break, and the tissue becomes bruised. Construction workers can suffer concussions as a result of being knocked in the head by falling debris or heavy machinery, as well as from the impact force of a fall.
- Hemorrhages. Any forceful impact to the head can cause the delicate tissues of the brain to tear. This tearing can cause the brain to bleed. If not treated immediately, the blood can pool in the tissues, causing edema, the medical name for bruising and swelling. The resulting edema can then press on nerves, cut off the oxygen supply to the brain, damage tissue, and ultimately lead to a stroke.
- Penetrating head wounds. Falling debris, uncapped rebar, sharp concrete…the list of materials that could potentially penetrate the skull at a construction site goes on and on. With enough force—caused by gravity, an explosion, or fall—any hard or sharp tool could become a deadly projectile, and anyone in its way could become a victim.
Protecting Yourself From a Construction Site Head Injury
To avoid the very real risk of suffering a head injury, you can take precautionary actions to protect yourself and your coworkers. These include:
- Wearing a hard hat at all times. Although it may not help with large debris, a hard hat can prevent falling rocks and stones from causing serious cuts and lacerations.
- Staying aware of your surroundings. Always pay attention to what is happening around you, including any potential scenarios that may lead to objects falling and heavy machinery hitting your head.
- Wearing a safety harness to avoid falls. Falls from ladders and scaffolds account for 50 percent of all construction-related TBIs.
- Following all safety procedures and regulations. No matter what your employer or coworkers may say, never disregard safety protocols.
- Seeking medical attention immediately after an accident. No matter the degree of your injury, if you suffered a head injury, you need to see a doctor to rule out any severe damage. After getting the treatment you need, save your documentation; you can use it as evidence in a personal injury claim.
Resources to Keep Your Head Up During Recovery
The costs associated with head injuries can easily grow to be life-threatening (or at least life-altering). As a result, you may find yourself wondering how you’ll recover and if you do, how you’ll manage to pay the mounting bills. Fortunately, workers’ compensation or a personal injury suit against the insurance company can be a viable option for financial security.
If you or a member of your family has suffered a head injury as the result of a construction work accident, you likely have first-hand knowledge of all the complications that can result from these injuries. Medical bills, ongoing care, lost wages, and more can easily pile up and make you feel lost and confused. Allow us, the legal team at the law firm of Steve M. Lee, PC, to help you maintain a clear head and pursue a strong injury claim.
For more information about obtaining the financial compensation that you deserve call us toll-free at 800-232-3711. You can also request a FREE consultation about your potential claim by leaving your contact information in the form on this page. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.