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Construction workers and brain injuries

Most people would probably agree that West Virginia construction workers are engaged in a high-risk occupation. This was confirmed by a study of the risk of traumatic brain injury to which workers in various industries are exposed. According to a report based on the results of the study, more than 2,200 construction workers around the country died between 2003 and 2010 from brain trauma. The deaths represented 25 percent of total fatalities from all causes during that period in the construction industry.

Falls at construction sites accounted for more than 50 percent of all fatal injuries suffered by construction workers. Older workers appeared to be particularly susceptible to suffering a fatal head injury. Those 65 or older were, according to the results of the study, approximately four times more prone to having an accident causing brain trauma than were workers who were between 25 and 34 years old. Workers at smaller companies tended to be more likely to suffer a fatal head injury than individuals at larger companies.

Researchers concluded that a continuation of an industry-wide focus on improved safety and other measures at construction sites might reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury faced by workers. This could go a long way toward reducing the number of individuals suffering from amnesia and permanent disability requiring long-term care.

Unlike a broken bone that will usually heal over time, brain damage may require an accident victim to undergo long-term care and rehabilitation. While workers' compensation may cover some of these expenses, an attorney representing an injured victim might determine that it is advisable to bring a personal injury action if the injury was caused by the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment or other non-employer third party.

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