During Hard Hat Awareness Week, Headway – the brain injury association and Centurion are joining forces to highlight the dangers of construction sites, the impact that even a small brain injury can have, and the importance of wearing hard hats. Every day 1,000 people are admitted to hospital with serious head injuries*, and employees who work in heavy industry are most likely to suffer a head or brain injury in the workplace. The common causes of head and brain injury in the workplace are slips, trips and falls, being hit by a falling or moving object, a lack of personal protection equipment (PPE), inadequate training, poorly maintained plant, equipment, machinery and overall dangerous practices and procedures. A brain injury can have a devastating impact on the individual and their loved ones, so it is vital that adequate PPE is worn. On most construction sites, the risks of head injury are such that by law, head protection must be worn.
Employers must provide hard hats to employees and lawful visitors to construction sites and ensure that they are worn where there is any risk of a head injury. Self-employed people must provide their own hard hats and ensure they wear them. As well as providing the hard hat and making the wearing of them a site rule with safety signs around the site, employers must ensure they are in good condition and dispose of any that are damaged. The hard hat must also fit the person properly and only be obtained from a reputable supplier. Where needed, hearing protectors should also be worn to prevent noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).
In a survey carried out by Headway in 2020, 52% of construction workers said they had experienced a head injury which they had not reported to their manager. In the UK 13% of non-fatal injuries reported under ‘Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations’ for 2017-18 were head related, and worryingly, only 3% of PPE purchases for construction sites were for hard hats. There is growing evidence that short and long-term damage can be inflicted even by a single, minor knock to the head. Even concussion can cause temporary disruption to the brain that in some cases can last for months, if not years.
Concussion is described as a temporary injury to the brain, caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head.¥ If you have suffered even a mild bump to the head whilst at work and think you have concussion, you must:
If you or a loved one has suffered from a head or brain injury in the workplace, you must seek medical advice as soon as possible and report the incident to your manager. If the brain injury occurred due to the negligence of the employer, you must seek legal advice from an accredited personal injury solicitor who is experienced in head and brain injury claims suffered in the workplace. Compensation for your head and brain injuries can cover loss of earnings, medical bills, future care, home adaptations and rehabilitation costs. Contact our team today on: 01264 355477 Email: email@example.com * Headway Statistics ϯ Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ¥ NHS
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