The human brain is vulnerable to even small impacts. Common workplace injuries such as blows to the head, sustained falls and vehicle collisions have led to 1 out of every 4 adult concussions occurring at work.
During a concussion, the spinal fluid that surrounds the brain isn’t able to act as a cushion. This essentially bruises the brain and creates shearing forces that can also result in severe damage to blood vessels and nerves. And, although most people can recover from minor concussions, many of these injuries are caused by avoidable accidents when they occur in the workplace.
Keep these tips in mind to protect yourself and your co-workers from concussions:
- Know the signs and symptoms of a concussion, such as headaches, confusion, amnesia and dizziness.
- Inform a supervisor and arrange for emergency medical treatment if a co-worker experiences a loss of consciousness, blurred vision, extreme confusion, a progressively worsening headache or unresponsiveness after a head injury.
- Be on the lookout for fall hazards and unclear walkways that could cause someone to fall and hit their head.
- Wear personal protective equipment, such as a hard hat and sturdy footwear, to reduce the chance of a fall or blow to the head.
- Never let someone with a concussion drive or operate equipment until they’ve been given at least 72 hours to recover.
Most people recover from concussions without having to go to the hospital. However, it’s important to avoid any activities that are physically or mentally demanding during the recovery process.