Today’s post comes from guest author Anthony L. Lucas, from The Jernigan Law Firm.
According to the latest report from the CDC, from 2007 to 2013, the rate for traumatic brain injuries that resulted in emergency department visits, hospitalizations, or deaths increased 39 percent. Traumatic brain injuries contribute to about 30 percent of all injury deaths. It was initially believed that the increase in brain injuries was caused by rising awareness of sports-related head injuries in children and young adults. However, after researchers reviewed the data, they found that the biggest driver in the increase of brain injuries was due to older adults.
The rate for reported brain injuries for elderly Americans increased 76 percent from 2007 to 2013, much greater than any other age group. This increase is believed to be due to falls. Many times they are not reported, and according to Dr. Lauren Southerland, an Ohio State University emergency physician “what may seem like a mild initial fall may cause concussions or other problems that increase the chances of future falls – and more severe injuries.
To address fall-related brain injuries, the CDC has developed the STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents and Injuries) initiative to help primary care providers address their patients’ fall risk. The CDC has also launched a HEADS UP awareness campaign to help individuals recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury.
Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Gelman from Jon Gelman, LLC – Attorney at Law in New Jersey. I find this blog post from my respected colleague very timely, as it gets nicer in the Great Plains and more workers are outside. For those working at heights (and even those on the ground) please keep in mind that early spring rains and ever-present wind make safety equipment even more important. I, too, am happy that “OSHA is moving forward with enforcement against roofing companies,” according to Mr. Gelman. It can’t come fast enough. Please be safe!
Today I received an urgent call from attorney representing a client in New Jersey who fell from a roof. Before she told me the job description of the injured worker, now in a coma, I correctly anticipated that it was probably a roofer who had fallen from a roof, yet again.
This scenario has played out in workers’ compensation claims for decades. How the accident happened is usually an argument with the employer. The employer claims that the employee was either intoxicated or not following safety precautions. My instinct always tell me that this is probably incorrect, since roofers tend to lose their balance and fall for many other reasons, including “gravity.” Some reason a deprivation of oxygen and/or exposure to toxic neurological irritants contained in the roofing materials, and weather related events that make roofs slippery.