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High rates of TBIs for construction workers

Construction workers in New York and throughout the country continue to suffer from high rates of fatal traumatic brain injuries compared to other occupations, according to a study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The report, which was published in the "American Journal of Industrial Medicine," also found that between 2003 and 2010, 25 percent of construction fatalities were due to traumatic brain injury representing a total of more than 2,200 workers. This was the highest of any other type of U.S. workplace.

More than 50 percent of traumatic injuries happened due to falls during the period studied. Many were falls from heights including scaffolds and ladders. Workers 65 and older were at the greatest risk, and their fatal traumatic brain injury rate was four times higher than that of workers ages 25 to 34. Larger companies appeared to be safer than smaller ones, and companies that had fewer than 20 employees reported more than twice as many fatal brain injuries than those with more than 100 employees.

The NIOSH said that safety measures needed to continue to be improved and implemented despite an overall drop in TBIs. It urged professionals in safety and health to continue working toward accident prevention at construction sites.

Workers who are injured in a construction site accident or the families of workers who are fatally injured may be eligible for workers' compensation. Employees or families who are unsure about their eligibility may want to speak to an attorney. If the accident was caused by the employer's recklessness, the injured worker or family might want to file a lawsuit against the company in lieu of filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

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