Unexpected ways workers can suffer brain or spinal injuries

An employee can be seriously injured at just about any type of job imaginable, including retail or office jobs.

Everyone knows that certain jobs inherently come with the risk of injury, such as those involving construction sites, mining or police work. Thousands of people each year in New York as well as throughout the country are injured or even killed in workplace accidents, and not all of them are a result of working at a high-risk profession. An employee can receive a serious workplace injury while working virtually any job. For this reason, New York employers are required to post hazards in the workplace and train their workers on the types of dangers they may face, says the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration. However, many work hazards exist that may not be immediately obvious on an OSHA poster.

Top injuries for non-construction jobs include falls and lifting

While construction or factory jobs often involve risks from heavy equipment and machinery, other professions carry more subtle ways to get hurt. Whether a person is working at a restaurant, retail store or even an office, he or she can receive a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a variety of unexpected ways. For example, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has listed the top risks of working in an office setting that can result in a TBI:

  • Falls from slippery floors, objects or cords left in walkways, tipping over a chair or falling from a ladder.
  • Improper lifting of heavy boxes and equipment that can injure the spine as well as cause a dangerous fall.
  • Objects that can hit the head, such as an overhead cupboard or light fixture, or even an object that a coworker threw.

While it might seem humorous at the time to bonk one's head on a shelf at work, bumping the head is no laughing matter. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even a mild blow to the head can cause a TBI. Symptoms of a head injury range from memory loss, irritability, concentration difficulties, pain and motor impairment. It can take anywhere from weeks to months to recover from a TBI, and some patients end up with lifelong disabilities.

Spinal trauma from the same types of risks can also come with long-term problems, say the National Institutes of Health. These can include loss of sensation in the injured area, an electrical feeling shooting down the limbs, chronic pain and even paralysis.

When to contact an attorney

Head or spine injuries are often serious and should never be taken lightly. There are a variety of ways an employee can be hurt in a workplace setting where injuries are not expected, particularly if someone else did not follow safety procedures and left hazards out for an employee to trip over or hit his or her head on. If you received a TBI or spine injury because of someone's negligence at work, you may be entitled for compensation. Contacting an experienced workers' compensation attorney can help.

Keywords: workplace injury, workers' compensation