Have you ever wondered about the safety of your work place? The fact is, if you're not careful and alert at all times, many of today's work environments can be hazardous to your health. Whether you are an employee, guest or customer, a fair percentage of work environments are not safe due to disregard for safety codes or just plain carelessness on the part of employees. Even if you work in a tame "cubical world" you could trip on the corner of a desk that’s out of alignment and fall on your head and sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Your coworkers could spill coffee on the floor, and before they’ve had a chance to mop it up, you could slip and fall and incur a brain injury.
"Approximately 20% of TBI related workplace injuries occur from falling on surfaces that are uneven, wet, or have an out-of-place object."
While it may be hard to believe that severe injuries in some work environments can occur, that statistics may surprise you. Falls are slowly overcoming motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of TBI fatalities. This could also be related to the "graying" of the American workforce where workers over 65 have increased over 100% in the last 30 years. While occupational TBI death rates are on the decline, there are still a number of industries that represent the highest number of traumatic brain injuries.
Industries at Highest Risk for TBI
- Emergency Medical Services
Prevention and Precaution
If your workplace environment is typically ripe with possibilities for accidents, be extra cautious. Depending upon the industry, workplace injuries that could lead to brain injury include truck accidents, equipment and machinery accidents, falling objects, slip and fall accidents, and exposure to toxic chemicals. If you drive for work, make sure not to drive while overly tired, talking on a cell phone, or being distracted in any way. Always wear the appropriate dress and equipment—gloves, hard hats, closed shoes.
It’s next to impossible to imagine all the ways you could get hurt and incur a brain injury in the workplace. Be observant and report any signs of neglect or danger to management. Suggest regular safety checks if your company doesn’t have them already established. Discuss safety issues and ideas with your coworkers and supervisors. Be prepared for the unexpected at all times.