The human brain is the most complex organ in the human body, producing every thought, action, memory, feeling, and experience.  As there are constantly connecting and changing nerve cells, memories are stored in the brain, habits are learned, and personalities shaped.  Our brain structure is shaped partly by genes but mainly by experience.  How it ages depends on both genes and lifestyle.  The brain needs to be properly exercised and fed the right diet, just as the rest of our body requires. 

During our lifetime, things happen that can have a lasting effect on our bodies.  Persons may suffer head injuries due to a car accident, a hard fall, blows to the head to athletes. Military personnel suffer TBI’s as a result of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) and other horrors of war. 

About 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries in the United States annually.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says traumatic brain injuries kill about 52,000 Americans every year, and result in 275,000 hospitalizations.  A bump, blow, or jolt to the head may be severe enough to disrupt normal brain function.  The CDC also reports that falls are the Number 1 leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, but road traffic injuries are second, and result in the highest percentage of deaths – 31.8%. 

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) is commonly referred to as a concussion.  There may be a brief loss of consciousness or disorientation, ranging up to 30 minutes. Damage may not be visible on an MRI or CAT scan.  Symptoms of MTBI are headache, lightheadedness, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, fatigue.  MTBI can have long-term effects.  

Severe Traumatic Brain Injury results in loss of consciousness for over 30 minutes, or amnesia.  The same symptoms of MTBI are included, along with others, such as vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, slurred speech, and  loss of coordination. 

Our military personnel are furnished helmets for head protection.  Athletes also wear helmets to protect from head and neck injury.  These helmets should be of good quality. Motorcyclists should always wear their helmets, as well as bicyclists.

It makes sense that when personal protective equipment is furnished for employees, company supervisors should be sure that their employees are in compliance.  ANSI Hard hats should have a rigid external shell that resists and deflects blows to the head.  Inside that shell is a suspension system that acts as a shock absorber.  Hardhats are constructed with partial or full brims.  The full brim protects from spills, splashes and drips.  Many hardhats can accommodate faceshields, earmuffs, and other accessories needed to make the job easier and safer.  Knowing all this, statistics show that often workers who suffer impact injuries to the head are not wearing head protection at the time of injury.   

Wearing all types of Personal Protective Equipment is the responsibility of each employee.  It has been purchased for good reason, just as it is called: Personal and Protective.  Every one should use their head, and wear that helmet or hardhat!


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