In the workplace, concussions are a serious problem that can impact on a worker’s ability to function at full capacity. In industries involving physical labor in one form or another, head trauma can be a significant component of workplace injury. It can occur also in white collar industries. A simple slip accident at any workplace setting in Colorado or elsewhere can result in head trauma and concussion. Work-related vehicular accidents are also a ripe source of closed head trauma injuries.
When a worker sustains a concussion, which is really a brain injury, his or her life can be transformed dramatically. The length and depth of the resulting injury can vary, but some of the symptoms are always present. These may include loss of memory, headaches, disorientation, mood changes, dizziness and other neurological deficits. Whenever the possibility of concussion exists, the worker should report the accident immediately to the employer and seek priority medical attention.
Closed head brain injuries can be symptomatic for days, weeks, months or even years in some instances. This can depend on the severity of the impact and the inherent predisposition of the worker to this kind of physical injury. Importantly, a worker with significant symptoms should be examined by a neurologist as soon as possible.
The patient may need to be proactive in requesting a neurological consultation. Furthermore, a worker should get sufficient rest and not be rushed back to work with a head injury. Key mental mistakes can occur if not fully recuperated.
In a recent news report by a Chicago television station, the case of a white collar worker was highlighted as an example of a long-term work injury involving a concussion. The female employee suffered a brain injury after a slip and fall incident at work. The effects on her life were substantial, and her ability to work at full capacity did not return for a long time.
Because the injury is invisible, injured workers may suffer unfair treatment at work. Employers tend to suspect malingering. A Colorado worker with a workplace injury involving head trauma may find it necessary to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to prevent the loss of legal rights or valuable benefits.
Source: wbez.com, Returning to work after a brain injury, the unique challenges of concussions and the workplace, Shannon Heffernan, Nov. 25, 2013