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Concussions on the rise at work

In the last few years, more and more news reports have detailed how prevalent concussions are sports, especially in football, even at the youth level. What hasn’t received as much attention is that employees are reporting more concussions at work, perhaps because they understand the symptoms better.

One Midwest workers’ compensation insurer noted that from 2012 to 2014, it saw a 48% increase in reported concussions that hampered workers from doing their jobs.

The most common reasons workers suffered on-the-job concussions were slips and falls and being hit in the head by heavy objects at work.

Jobs prone to causing concussions

The workers who faced the most likelihood of receiving a concussion at work included the following:

  • Construction workers
  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • Loading dock crews
  • Delivery drivers

Diagnosing a concussion

One of the difficult aspects of treating concussions is that symptoms may not occur immediately. Someone may realize they need medical treatment hours or days after the injury occurs, which makes filing workers’ compensation claims more difficult. Concussions also can be misdiagnosed as a stress or tension headache, again making it more difficult for employees to receive workers’ compensation for a concussion.

The common symptoms of a concussion are the following:

  • Headache or feeling lots of head pressure
  • Loss of consciousness (not in every case)
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Slurred speech
  • Concentration or memory issues
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Inability to sleep

Concussions that limit work

Concussions can keep construction workers or manufacturing workers from driving, operating machinery, lifting heavy objects or climbing scaffolding or ladders.Most people will recover from concussions in 7 to 10 days. However, some can experience more serious complications, including post-concussion syndrome.

If you suffered a concussion at work, you need to report that to your supervisor and file a workers’ compensation claim. If you have problems establishing that your concussion was the result of an accident at work or your claim is denied, you need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.

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