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Brain injury prevention in the workplace

BrainX Symposium highlights all there is to know about brain injuries. Here’s a sneak peak.

The definition of “prevention” is the action of stopping something from happening. Imagine if people never got hurt. Well, in fact up to 90 per cent of injuries are preventable. While we don’t normally think of the workplace as the location where we could get hurt, that can certainly be the case.

There are a variety of preventative measures that can be taken depending on the sector we are in, but some examples that can apply to any workplace include removal of tripping hazards that can cause a slip, trip or fall, alert people of wet surfaces, keeping shelves and bookcases organized in order to avoid having objects fall on your head, and not standing on chairs or tables, instead use step stools to avoid falls.

Statistics show that youth and young adults can be at the greatest risk of injury on the job. According to the Northern Brain Injury Society, more than 50 per cent of employees under the age of 25 were hurt within the first six months on the job. While young workers have more injuries in the workplace, it appears that when older workers sustain injury, it is more serious.

Workplace safety is not only about prevention but about being aware. Being over confident, impatient and taking short cuts is rarely a good idea. In places such as the construction site, more safety procedures need to be in place as there is more chance of injury than those who sit at a computer all day.

A review of WorkSafe BC’s claims shows that over 50 per cent of injuries are the result of being “struck by, struck against, fall from elevation, or fall on same level,” all of which have the possibility in resulting in brain injury. Brain injury is the most serious type of injury that someone can sustain, as our brains do not ‘heal’ as if we had a broken arm or leg, and in severe cases can result in permanent disability.

To learn more, Shawn Mitton, Regional Prevention Manager for WorkSafeBC is one of 12 presentations at BrainTrust Canada’s annual brain injury symposium, the Pushor Mitchell BRAINx taking place at the Ramada Hotel on Thursday June 7. To see the full slate of speakers for this year’s BRAINx visit the website. For more information, or to support BrainTrust Canada as an exhibitor or sponsor, contact Magda Kapp at (250) 762-3233 ext. 109.

Contributed by Magda Kapp, director of prevention services & community engagement, BrainTrust Canada