Work-related traumatic brain injury, which can lead to severe disability, is a serious problem for young workers, researchers have found. Their recent study focused on traumatic brain injury cases involving workers ages 16-24 in the state of Washington.
The researchers identified work-related traumatic brain injuries from a registry and linked them to data from workers’ compensation claims. They found that work-related traumatic brain injury not only has long-term health and psychological effects but is also costly. These injuries resulted in median medical expenses that ranged between $16,426 and $41,167. Costs for compensated time lost from work ranged between $800 and $2,300.
Most of the injuries analyzed as part of the study occurred in fall accidents. In fact, falls are a leading case of traumatic brain injuries for workers of all ages. Falls also contribute to other catastrophic injuries like spinal injuries. This is part of the reason federal safety officials are strongly focused on fall prevention in their workplace safety efforts.
Other common causes of traumatic brain injury involving young workers are being in accidents involving motor vehicles and being struck by or against an object. Often, “struck by” hazards involve workers colliding with machinery or being struck by flying debris and falling objects.
According to the researchers, young workers with brain injuries face very serious challenges. A young person’s brain may still be developing, creating a higher risk of long-term damage from injury.
The researchers suggest that employers take special care to make sure that younger workers are performing age-appropriate work activities that reduce the risk of injury. It is also important to make sure that younger workers know exactly what they have to do if they suffer a workplace brain injury.
Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned. Contact us for a review of your workplace accident and advice on your legal options.