By Michael Pines 

There’s no doubt that occupations such as construction, manufacturing, utilities, and transportation can increase the risk of head injury in the workplace. But no matter what kind of job you hold, you can strive for safety in the workplace with the right kind of equipment and proper training.

Here’s what you need to know about head injuries and how to stay safe. While it’s up to the employer to provide a safe working environment – from protective gear to safety policies and procedures – you can take extra steps today to help reduce your risk for personal injury.

Head injuries are difficult to diagnose

One of the problems with diagnosing head injury is that imaging tests don’t provide the total picture. Medical diagnosing can be difficult, which can cause more stress on the injured individual. And because brain injuries can be unique person-to-person, taking the time to identify an injury can also cause delays in treatment. An MRI and CT scan might appear completely normal, while the individual suffers from pain, confusion, dizziness, and even memory loss. That’s why doctors often rely on a combination of factors to diagnose a traumatic brain injury (TBI).

But even then, it isn’t so simple. Those who experience severe brain injury pain can go years without a medical diagnosis.

But, the medical community is working towards finding a solution. Recent studies point to brain fibers, also called axons, which link nerves in the brain together that, when severed, can cause a TBI. When these nerves are jolted, or stressed in any way, the brain can suffer damage including symptoms ranging from headaches to swelling and permanent disabilities.

When brain fibers are damaged, “the neurons are not structurally altered but electrophysiologically they’re dysfunctional,” said John T. Povlishock, lead researcher at the Virginia Commonwealth University where the study is undergoing. “Does a repeat injury in a specific time frame … lead to an exacerbation of this or dramatic exacerbation? We don’t know. That’s the next step.”

It’s never been more important to protect your head in the workplace, especially if you work in an occupation with an increased risk for injury. While the medical community works toward better treatment, you can stay safe at work by considering the following tips. Don’t let traumatic brain injury happen to you – the quality of your life depends on it!

Workplace injury: take action

As personal injury attorneys in San Diego, we work with injured people every day. And it goes without saying that severe injury is devastating for the individuals and families who are affected. Brain injuries are some of the most unyielding injuries that can often last a lifetime. We’ve worked with people who lead perfectly normal lives until — in a split second moment — an accident changes their outlook forever. And even more disheartening is the fact that many of these brain injuries could have been avoided with the right safety equipment. That’s why we urge workers in construction, utility, transportation, manufacturing or any other laborious job to strongly equip themselves with the best safety gear possible, especially with regard to proper head gear. Consider the following tips to help reduce accidents in your workplace. And remember: always wear a helmet or other protective head equipment at work.

Speak up at work

If your workplace is unsafe, or has poor policies and procedures in place, do not hesitate to talk to your supervisor about the issue. You can prevent serious injury today by identifying unsafe working conditions. If your employer refuses to hear your concerns, you may take your complaints to OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Replace old equipment

If you are already using proper head gear, we applaud you for your safety efforts. Take your concern for safety a step further by replacing old, worn, or recalled equipment. Generally speaking, most individuals who work in laborious environments can expect to replace equipment on a yearly basis.

Get the safety training you need

While most employers do a good job of training employees in safety and precaution, there are some workplaces that do not sufficiently provide safety training. Consider being your workplace spokesperson for safety: ask you supervisor about ongoing safety courses, especially if any new products or procedures have been implemented.

Helmets: you need them!

There’s no doubt about it: you need to protect your head if your occupation poses injury risk. Get the equipment you need, and never consider going to work without your safety gear. Your life depends on it.

About the Law Offices of Michael Pines, APC

As San Diego’s most trusted personal injury law firm since 1992, we are the legal experts people turn to first when injured in any kind of accident. Because we work with accident victims on a daily basis, we have a unique lens into the devastating world of brain and head injury. Mike, our firm’s founder, is an Accident & Injury Prevention Expert and is on a campaign to end senseless injury and death one blog at a time. Follow him on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.



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