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NIOSH: Construction workers at high risk for traumatic brain injuries


Morgantown, WV – Construction workers sustain more traumatic brain injuries than employees at any other type of workplace in the United States, according to a recent report from NIOSH.

Safety interventions must be emphasized in the construction industry, in which more than 2,200 workers died of a traumatic brain injury from 2003 to 2010, researchers said.

Traumatic brain injuries represented one-quarter of all construction fatalities during the eight-year study period, according to the report. More than half of fatal work-related traumatic injuries were a result of falls – particularly from roofs, ladders and scaffolds. Workers 65 and older were nearly 4 times more likely to sustain a fatal traumatic brain injury than workers 25 to 34 years old. Meanwhile, workers at organizations with fewer than 20 employees were more than 2.5 times more likely to die from a traumatic brain injury than those who worked for organizations with more than 100 employees.

Srinivas Konda addressed the findings in a March 21 NIOSH blog post. Konda is an associate service fellow in the NIOSH Division of Safety Research.

“Armed with the data above, safety and health professionals can work to prevent fatal [traumatic brain injuries] in construction,” Konda wrote. “Construction is a dangerous industry, and its workers are at high risk for TBIs and their life-threatening or life-long consequences. Thus, despite the drop in fatal TBI rates in construction, prevention efforts addressing these injuries continue to be implemented and improved, especially among high-risk workers.”

The study was published in the March issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

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