Traumatic brain damage is one of the most common types of workplace injuries in Nebraska and in the United States. On average, there are more than 2.87 million deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits involving traumatic brain injuries in the United States every year, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. 

Brain injuries may result in a myriad of problems, including short and long-term issues. It can directly affect your ability to work, earn a paycheck and make ends meet. 

How do traumatic brain injuries occur?

The brain sits suspended in fluid within the skull cavity. A sharp blow to the head can cause soft brain tissue to hit into the body skull bone. This impact can result in bruising, bleeding and inflammation of the brain. In some cases, an object may pierce the skull cavity and lodge into the brain. 

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, brain injuries can occur when workers fall from heights, forklifts or into unmarked holes. Workers may also slip-and-fall from unattended spills or cluttered areas. Furthermore, workers may be hit by a falling object or crushed between two objects. 

What are the signs of a brain injury?

Symptoms of brain injuries vary depending on what area of the brain is affected, as well as the severity of the injury. Signs of mild to moderate brain injuries include the following: 

  • Headaches and difficulty thinking 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Irritability, depression, fatigue and anxiety 
  • Change in mood  
  • Sensory deficiency  

More severe cases may involve seizures, loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, tingling in the extremities and trouble swallowing and speaking. 

Employers should ensure worksites are safe for employees and take responsibility for accidents that occur.