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.