We all know it to be true: construction is one of the industries that puts its workers at highest risk for injury.
So it probably isn’t surprising that workers in the construction industry are also at high risk for traumatic brain injury.
In fact, according to NIOSH, construction workers sustain more traumatic brain injuries than employees at any other type of US workplace. And traumatic brain injuries represented 25% of all construction fatalities 2003-2010.
More than half those injuries were a result of falls, particularly from height (roofs, ladders, scaffolds). And workers at smaller organizations (20 or fewer employees) were more than twice as likely to die from a traumatic brain injury than those who worked for larger organizations (100 or more employees).
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. (Perhaps not coincidentally, it is also National Ladder Safety Month!) So there’s no better time to remind your team about safety practices on the jobsite. Workers should always follow safety policies and procedures–particularly when working from height.
How can you help your workers prevent traumatic brain injury?
- Place safety posters where workers can easily spot them and be reminded of proper safety procedures.
- Invite speakers to address your workers at a “lunch and learn.” Topics could include working from height, the reality of brain injury, the importance of protective head gear and other PPE, etc.
- Refresh your workers on what to look for in their hard hats—and when they should get a new one.
- Offer refresher training for workers to remind them how to properly use ladders and scaffolds, how to work at height, and so on.
- Remember that more inexperienced workers may need additional training to ensure that they understand all the safety policies and procedures. Likewise, be sure that workers whose first language is not English understand their safety training.
- Cultivate a culture of safety on the work site. Saving a few minutes isn’t worth putting your workers’ health and safety at risk.
For posters and other materials you can share with your workers, StopConstructionFalls.com is a great resource.
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