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Traumatic Brain Injury in Construction Study

Release Date: May 3, 2016

The construction industry has the greatest number of both fatal and nonfatal traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) among United States (U.S.) workplaces. From 2003 to 2010, 2,210 construction workers died because of a TBI (a rate of 2.6 per 100,000 full-time employee [FTE] workers). These deaths represented 25% of all construction fatalities and 24% of all occupational TBI fatalities during the same period. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently took a close look at deaths due to TBIs in the construction industry in the U.S. from 2003 to 2010.

The study describes findings such as these:

Armed with the data above, safety and health professionals can work to prevent fatal TBIs in construction. A nationwide construction fall-prevention campaign, started by NIOSH, OSHA, and the CPWRThe Center for Construction Research and Training, seeks to raise awareness by encouraging everyone in construction to work safely and use the right safety equipment while working at heights, such as on roofs, ladders, and scaffolds. More information about the fall-prevention campaign is available at http://www.cdc.gov/NIOSH/updates/upd-04-26-12b.html.

The Safety Stand-Down, stemming from the campaign, occurs during May 2-6, 2016. In addition, to prevent falls from ladders, a NIOSH smartphone application provides visual and audio signals and safety tips for safe ladder positioning. It has been downloaded to over 63,000 smartphones as of January 31, 2016. More information about the ladder app is available at http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2013/08/27/ladder-safety/.

More information about the Safety Stand-Down campaign is available at http://nationalsafetystanddown.com/, including an app with resources for employers, including toolbox talks, videos, and more.

Improved fall protection harness sizing designs for protecting workers from falls due to poor fit or improper size selection and a worker-support bracket and safety rail assembly, which provides a guardrail system to protect workers from falling through unprotected roofs, are among a few other NIOSH research studies that address falls. More information about falls-related research is available at https://http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/projects.html.

Construction is a dangerous industry and its workers are at high risk for TBIs and 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.

COPYRIGHT ©2016, ISO Services, Inc.

The information contained in this publication was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. ISO Services, Inc., its companies and employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with either the information herein contained or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedure.


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