Fishing Industry Ranks High for Traumatic Brain Injuries

The American Journal of Preventative Medicine released a study last year assessing the risk for traumatic brain injury in the workplace. Although traumatic brain injury is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., work-related traumatic brain injury had not been well documented prior to the study. The study titled The Epidemiology of Fatal Occupational Traumatic Brain Injury in the U.S. looked at the epidemiologic characteristics and temporal trends of fatal occupational traumatic brain injury in the U.S between 2003 and 2008.

The researchers concluded that the construction industry had the highest number of traumatic brain injuries, and the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry had the highest rates. The leading causes of occupational traumatic brain injury death were as follows: motor vehicle (31%); falls (29%); assaults and violent acts (20%); and contact with objects/equipment (18%). Additionally, workers aged 65 years or older in all industries were at higher risk for traumatic brain injuries and would be a good target for future prevention efforts.

The report suggests that U.S. employers should take more precautions to prevent work-related traumatic brain injuries through the use of safety equipment such as hard hats and fall protection. Researchers based their findings on data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injury (CFOI). The leading causes of fatal traumatic brain injuries on worksites were motor vehicle accidents and falls.