Occupational traumatic brain injuries disrupt the lives of workers and carry major economic repercussions. To date, there has been limited information on brain injuries that occur at work across injury severity levels in Canada. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of occupational traumatic brain injuries in Ontario, with a focus on the sex of the workers.
For this cross-sectional study, data from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board were used. A retrospective chart review was conducted of over 1,500 claim files from the year 2004 with the diagnostic codes of concussion and intracranial injury. Severity was assessed according to data on days off work.
The average age of those injured was 37.8 years. The breakdown by sex shows that 57.8% of claims for occupational traumatic brain injury involved males. The most common mechanism of injury was being "struck by or against", followed by "falls". Most of the occupational traumatic brain injuries were from the manufacturing, and government and related services sectors. The highest rate, however, was shown for transportation and storage (81.5/100,000), followed by government and related services (56.6/100,000) and primary industries (47/100,000).
An examination of occupational traumatic brain injuries across a range of severities reveals a profile that is different from that associated with more severely injured workers: there were many more women in particular industries who were injured and more injuries involving being struck by an object. This paper provides data on key industries, mechanisms and contributing factors involved in work-related traumatic brain injury that result in claims to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Workplace falls are a common cause of head injuries; however, detailed study of this is limited. The objective of the study was to examine the person, environment and occupation factors associated with work-related traumatic brain injuries (WrTBI) due to falls from elevation (FFE) and falls from the same level (FFSL).
This study is a retrospective chart review. Data was extracted from consecutive medical records of workers who sustained a head injury at work and were referred to the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute for clinical assessment.
FFE were more likely to occur in men and result in multiple traumas, compared to FFSL. FFSL occurred more equally among men and women. Slippery conditions and placement of objects were common for WrTBI due to FFSL. Change in elevation was common for WrTBI due to FFE. WrTBI due to FFE most often occurred in trades, transport occupations and the construction industry, whereas WrTBI due to FFSL most often occurred in professional, management, skilled positions and the manufacturing industry.
Types of falls resulting in brain injury and their mechanisms of injury vary across industries and occupations. The study provides information for more tailored workplace safety strategies and primary prevention across industries.
Consequences of traumatic brain injury underscore the need to study high-risk groups. Few studies have investigated work-related traumatic brain injuries (WrTBIs) in the construction industry.
To examine WrTBIs in Ontario for the construction industry compared to other industries.
A retrospective study of individuals who sustained a WrTBI and had a clinical assessment as an outpatient at a hospital-based referral centre. Data were collected for a number of factors including demographic, injury and occupation and were analyzed according to the Person-Environment-Occupation (PEO) model.
435 individuals who sustained a WrTBI.
There were 19.1% in the construction industry, 80.9% in other industries. Compared to other industries, individuals in the construction industry were more likely to be male, to not have attained post-secondary education, and experience multiple traumas. WrTBIs in the construction industry were commonly due to elevated work. The construction occupations involved included skilled workers and general labourers, and compared to other industries, WrTBIs occurred most often for those employed for a short duration in the construction industry.
Construction industry workers experience serious WrTBIs that are amenable to prevention. Use of the PEO model increased our understanding of WrTBIs in the construction industry.