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Fatal brain injuries in Massachusetts workplaces


Workers’ compensation benefits pay medical costs and replace wages for Massachusetts employees injured on the job. Benefits cover costs associated with work-related accidents and illnesses when injuries prevent an individual from working. Death benefits are also available.

Some workers suffer fatal brain injuries. For survivors, a traumatic brain injury can mean long-term care or permanent disability — a life changer, not just for victims but for their families, too. Workers’ comp benefits often aren’t enough to address the needs of TBI victims and their loved ones, but legal claims against careless parties can result in monetary relief.

A lot of research has been done on the effects of traumatic brain injuries, but only a few studies look closely at the connection between TBIs and the workplace. A report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined the rates and reasons for TBI-related deaths on the job.

Construction work is inherently dangerous. Environments contain massive machines, high-speed power tools, unstable structures and workers occupied at great heights. Accidents occur when workers’ safety is ignored.

Analysts reported construction workers suffered more TBIs than employees in any other industry between 2003 and 2008. The rates of injury were higher in fishing, forestry and agriculture jobs, but the numbers of injuries were highest in construction.

During the research period, about 7,300 work-related TBI deaths were recorded in all industries, with an overall rate of 0.8 brain injury fatalities per 100,000 workers. Thirty-one percent of affected employees suffered fatal TBI injuries in motor vehicle accidents.

Head trauma caused by falls followed at 29 percent. Twenty percent of fatal brain injuries were caused by violence. TBI victims struck by equipment or objects made up another 18 percent.

Attorneys, who help TBI victims and families recover compensation through lawsuits, investigate the reasons for job accidents and sources of compensation. Negligent third parties can be held accountable for losses suffered by injured construction workers.


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