Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause permanent disability, so it is important for workers to know how they can occur. Workers most at risk for sustaining TBIs are those who work in the construction, forestry, fishing, and emergency medical services.
According to the Brain Injury Institute, 20 percent of work accidents involving TBIs are caused by falling on wet or uneven surfaces. For example, a coworker could spill coffee, creating a slip and fall hazard.
Many who suffer TBIs will have problems with information processing, cognition, speech and possibly movement. Memory and concentration problems may also be present. Depending on the career and severity of symptoms, injured workers can have a difficult time returning to work. Workers may not be able to return to certain jobs after suffering a traumatic brain injury, but employers can be accommodating with other options.
Can Workers with TBIs Return to Their Occupations?
Depending on the company, workers can receive special accommodations in the workplace. Accommodations can be required under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example, a worker with memory deficits can sometimes tape meetings or interactions with coworkers. Employees with cognitive fatigue may need more breaks or adjustments to their schedules.
In some cases, TBIs can cause significant disabilities that might make it impossible to return to work. For employees with significant impairments, disability or workers’ compensation benefits might be better options.
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