A concussion is a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that occurs when a person suffers a blow to the head or body that causes the brain and head to quickly and sharply move back and forth. This forces the brain to internally ricochet off the skull, creating chemical imbalances in the brain. This rapid movement of the brain can also cause physical damage to brain cells.
The harmful effects of concussions are not immediately noticeable, however, if not properly treated they can spiral into debilitating and permanent brain damage. Hence, the experts at Broadview Health Centre would like you to know about how concussions in the workplace.
How A Workplace Concussion Can Happen
The most common cause of workplace concussions occurs in accidents like trips, slips, and falls. These can happen because of wet floors, cords, and general clutter that can obstruct a person’s path. Falling to the floor can cause an impact strong enough to result in a concussion.
Another common cause of concussions in the workplace is falling objects. This isn’t just restricted to construction sites where a lot of heavy objects are in motion. Heavy objects like boxes, computer equipment, and similar objects can also cause concussions if improperly placed in high places.
Construction sites are especially rife with hazards that can lead to concussions. Heavy-duty machinery used to lift objects, destroy impediments, and the like can cause concussions. Working at height creates a risk of falling which can also lead to workplace concussions. The numerous potential causes of concussions in construction sites make navigating them safely a tricky proposition.
Effects of A Workplace Concussion
An employee who suffers a concussion in the workplace is at risk for more serious injuries if their condition isn’t managed with care. Mismanagement of a medical issue as serious as a concussion can also create legal issues for the organization.
The typical symptoms of concussions prevent an employee from being fully productive. Experiencing issues like nausea, fatigue, light sensitivity, difficulties in concentration, forgetfulness, confusion, etc will significantly detract from the worker’s ability to perform their duties.
Fully recovering from a concussion in the workplace takes time, time that the employee has to spend relaxed and away from work. The usual time frame for concussion recovery is 7-10 days for most cognitive issues to 3 months for complete healing. However, a small percentage might experience conditions that last longer than normal. This is known as post-concussion syndrome.
Rehab and reduced workload might be necessary to ensure that the employee doesn’t suffer a repeat trauma. Rehabilitation of a concussion may require speech, physical, and occupational therapy, so employees will need to account for slowed reaction time in an employee undergoing concussion recovery. The parameters of the work will need to be adjusted accordingly but, as they recover, they can return to a regular work schedule gradually. Their work efficiency will be low at the beginning of their recovery but it should improve as they heal.
Avoiding A Concussion In The Workplace
Protecting employees from concussions in the workplace is crucial to safeguard their quality of life and livelihood. It also maintains the usual productivity and efficiency and protects the organization from liability. Hence here are a few tips to help employees avoid workplace concussions.
Proper Workplace Organization
All walkways and work areas should be free from any clutter that can cause an employee to trip and fall. Proper cabling techniques can ensure that workers don’t trip over them and clearing obstacles will allow workers to move around freely. Also, shelves, cabinets, and other high places that store heavy objects should be arranged carefully to reduce the difficulty in retrieving those objects.
Use Signs When Necessary
Warning employees of potential hazards like wet floors and falling objects can help them avoid those hazards. Knowledge of where the dangers are most likely will allow them to navigate the workspace with care and avoid concussions in the workplace.
Use The Right Equipment
Making the proper use of the right tools for the job will reduce any chances of accidents that cause concussions. Using a step ladder or step stool to retrieve objects from high places will reduce the likelihood of an object falling and causing trauma. If the job requires protective equipment, like hard hats, ensure that it is suitable for the job and the employee.
Providing employees with proper protocols for the workplace will reduce the likelihood of concussions occurring. Knowing what to do when potential hazards are encountered and how to report them will improve their safety in the workplace. Also, knowing how to react in emergencies will prevent any unforeseen situations from compounding the emergency even further.
Proper Concussion Treatment and Recovery
If a worker suffers any kind of traumatic incident, immediately consult a medical professional for a diagnosis. If the worker has sustained a concussion, the health provider can assist with the necessary management and rehabilitation necessary to avoid any side effects and improve healing.
Supervisors should be informed of the typical signs of concussions and provided with the tools to reduce the employee’s workload. This allows them to watch out for any indicators as the employee slowly adjusts back to a regular work schedule. Any worsening symptoms need to be reported immediately.
How every worker reacts to a concussion will be unique, hence the severity of their symptoms should guide their return to normal activity. Rest in the first few days after the injury is crucial to avoid major setbacks. As the symptoms lessen, the employee can return to a light workload, with ample rest when necessary. When the symptoms become mild, the worker can resume a regular work schedule but they must pull back if symptoms worsen. The worker is fully recovered when regular activities don’t trigger a relapse.
Broadview Health Centre – Quality Concussion Care
Handling a concussion is a delicate process that can cause worse problems if improperly treated. By reducing the chances of a concussion in the workplace will happen, workers will stay safe and productive as long as needed. However, if a worker suffers a concussion, taking care to ensure they heal properly will allow them to maintain their standard of life. Ensure that employees are treated by a professional if they sustain concussions.
Please contact us for the best concussion rehabilitation services in Ottawa. Broadview Health Centre uses non-invasive, drug-free, and customized techniques to heal concussions. Our team of highly qualified and experienced practitioners will ensure that you receive the best possible care to properly and fully heal.