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Concussions: The invisible workplace injury

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with a concussion every year. Concussions, also known as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), can have long-lasting effects on a person's job performance and their long-term mental health.

Safety and the prevention of injuries still present daily obstacles for many people in the workplace. If you work in the service industry or a blue-collar industrial job, you could also be at risk of suffering a concussion via a slip-and-fall, falling object or motor vehicle accident.

Why prevention is important

It is important to get care right away if you believe you or someone you know has suffered a concussion.

Because TBIs occur inside the body, they can be difficult to spot and diagnose. Treatment requires immediate attention from a medical provider in order to reduce the risk of lasting long-term health effects. If you are injured on the job, you may have difficulty returning to work right away even if you feel okay physically.

If you or a co-worker falls or is hit in the workplace, you should immediately check for s including:

  • Confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Change in mood from attentive and focused to angry or frustrated
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Uneven pupils

Any sudden blow or jarring motion to the head or neck can cause a concussion. Even if the incident seems minor, it can have long-term health effects and leave someone more likely to suffer a more severe brain injury in the future.

Keep this top of mind

It is important to remember that if you are injured in the workplace, you are eligible for workers' compensation benefits, including compensation for missed time and lost wages. Because TBIs can be difficult to understand and diagnose, it is vital that you work closely with medical professionals and your employer after an injury.

Many of us want to tough it out and continue with our jobs because we understand our duty, but it is important to confront injuries head-on today to prevent the long-term effects tomorrow.

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