The construction industry is one that’s inherently dangerous. Whenever you work on a construction site, you’re in an environment where you risk serious injury or even death, especially if someone isn’t taking all of the necessary safety precautions. Some of the most dangerous injuries include some sort of injury to the head, which can cause damage to the brain. Not all head injuries are serious, but you must treat all of them as potentially serious until a doctor can evaluate you.
OSHA Recommendations for Construction Sites
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established rules and regulations to help prevent head injuries, including hardhat requirements at certain construction sites. One of the requirements concerns head protection in the form of personal protective equipment (PPE). Because head injuries may be the result of actions, such as falls, flying objects, or by bumping the head against a fixed object, protective helmets must do the following:
- Resist penetration
- Absorb the shock of a blow
- Protect against electric shock
Additionally, OSHA enforces many other rules that are designed to protect workers, including providing fall safety equipment and determining how heavy equipment should be used.
Construction Accidents that can Cause Head Wounds
Even if a construction worker follows OSHA’s guidelines exactly, they can still be vulnerable to brain injury from various sources.
These accidents can occur at any time at a construction site and can lead to brain injuries, including the following:
- Dangerous demolitions
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Fallings objects
- Trench collapses
- Vehicle collisions
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Anytime you experience a blow to the head, (regardless of how it occurs) it can lead to traumatic brain injury (TBI), a serious medical condition. TBIs include a myriad of injuries, ranging from brain bleeds and open head wounds to concussions. Although you may initially feel fine when you first hurt your head, you should proceed with caution because TBI is very serious and you could eventually develop brain damage or other disabilities, including vision loss, seizures, or speech impediments. You should be sure to seek medical attention and get checked out because the symptoms may develop later.
The symptoms of a TBI include the following:
- Blurry vision
- Dizziness and vertigo
- Drowsiness or trouble sleeping
- Headaches or migraines
- Lack of coordination
- Memory problems
- Mood swings
- Ringing in the ear and problems hearing
Steps to Take after You’ve Been Injured at the Construction Site
Whether you experience symptoms or not, if you’ve been struck in the head due to a construction accident, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. Call the paramedics, so that they can send personnel to transport you to the hospital, or you can ask a co-worker, family member, or friend to give you a lift to the emergency room. You should never drive after you’ve had a head injury, regardless of how you feel.
It’s important to make sure that your accident is reported to the supervisor right away. This will not only protect other workers from experiencing injury, but it can also be helpful to you in the future. For instance, you will need this on record if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, if you’re an independent contractor and your injury was caused by another party’s negligence, then you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim.
Hit your Head at the Worksite? Discuss Options with a Lawyer
Dealing with head injuries like TBIs can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to figure out your legal options. If you believe you were hurt because of an act of negligence, you can explore your legal options by contacting a personal injury attorney. MOWK Law attorneys are skilled in this area and can investigate your claim to see if you can recover damages. Contact us now for further insight.