OSHA Safety Manuals | Head Injuries – After The Fall
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head injury

Head Injuries – After The Fall

Head Injuries – After The Fall

You can work for years and hardly get a scratch, then one day a fall can turn your life around. Fall injuries may cause abrasions, fractures and dislocations. However, one of the most serious results of a fall, other than death, can be a head injury. How this will affect you depends upon which part of your brain has been injured as a result of a fall or impact. Broken bones usually heal, but head injuries can result in life long serious problems, such as:

  • Changes in personality, such as increased anxiety, depression or anger.
  • Difficulties with eye and hand coordination, and inability to handle tools or play sports well.
  • Defects in vision and visual illusions.
  • Short-term memory loss or interference with long term memory.
  • Increased aggressive behavior.
  • Difficulty in distinguishing left from right.
  • Changes in social behavior

How You Fall Often Determines Your Specific Injury.

From the time a worker loses a secure grip, footing or balance, until impact, several factors influence what part of the body will be injured and how severe the damage will be. They are:

  • The distance of the fall – momentum and velocity affect the impact on your body.
  • The angle of the body at impact – we’re not like cats landing on all fours.
  • The obstacles the body strikes – what if you fall on railings, steps, or vehicles?
  • The surface eventually landed on – will it be a pile of hay, or broken concrete & re-bar?

What You Can Do: THINK!

  • Help remind your co-workers to play it safe and avoid taking risks.
  • Report unsafe conditions to the nearest supervisor.
  • Make it a habit to work safely, regardless of time pressures and productivity goals.
  • Practice caution at home – accidents and head injuries from falls happen more often off the job than at work.
  • Know how to use fall protection and fall restraint equipment. Never say, “I don’t need to fool around with that stuff-I’ll only be up there a minute.”

Stay Alert! Head injuries can have devastating consequences that may impact your life forever.