What Employers Need to Know About Concussion

Call 0345 872 6666

What Employers Need to Know About Concussion

Knowing what to do after an employee has had a blow to the head and developed a concussion can be difficult for an employer. Below, we go into greater detail about what employers can do to help their employees.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a brief disturbance in the way the brain functions as a result of a blow to the head. It is also also referred to as a mild head injury or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). This might happen if you trip or fall, or if anything hits your head.

Concussions can also occur as a result of injuries sustained outside of the workplace, such as those caused by assault, domestic violence, or car accidents. The collision causes the skull to knock against the brain, which can have both short-term and long-term effects on the brain.

What are the symptoms?

An individual may lose consciousness right away following an accident due to a head injury. Only around 10% of concussion reports result in loss of consciousness, so it is vital that you do not solely depend on this as a sign; confusion is much more typical.

Symptoms can be grouped into three different categories: physical, cognitive, and emotional. The symptoms of concussion under these categories frequently mix together and vary widely from person to person.

Concussion warning signals to watch out for include:

Physical signs

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Insomnia and sleep problems
  • Balance problems
  • Fatigue

Cognitive signs

  • Poor concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating

Emotional signs

  • Irritability
  • Low mood
  • Anxiety 
  • Feeling more emotional than usual

How long should it take to recover from a concussion?

Most minor concussion-related cognitive problems disappear within three months. However, 10-15% of victims develop symptoms that linger longer and are frequently referred to as post-concussion syndrome.

How do I accommodate an employee who has had a concussion?

Since a concussion is not a visible injury, workers may appear to be ready to resume their regular duties when they are in fact not. Any limitations imposed by your employer must be respected. This can entail providing shorter workdays, breaks, or fewer duties and obligations.

The injured worker should be told to take it easy and initially need to limit their physical and mental activity. In some circumstances, cutting back on work while the person is still recovering may aid in their recovery.

Following the patient's return to work, the doctor might advise the patient to take some time off from driving, lifting heavy objects, using machinery, or working at heights. If you can, you should offer a serene, peaceful workspace where the lighting can be dimmed. It can also be helpful to provide them with a place to rest.

Rehabiliation therapy, which may consist of speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or a mix of the three, and lasts one to four days a week, is essential for recovery for severe cases of concussion.

Be aware that they might have slower thinking, speech, and reaction times, and they might have trouble focusing. At first, they may not be as productive as usual, and it might be necessary to change the tasks they are assigned. However, the worker ought to be able to gradually return to normal employment over time.

While it is necessary to treat the issue seriously, it is also crucial to communicate with the employee in a positive and comforting manner about their prognosis for recovery. The wounded worker may be in a delicate situation; they may be terrified and upset by their symptoms and concerned that they might get worse. Their predicament can get worse as a result of their anxiety.

Most cognitive symptoms go away in two weeks, and the majority of patients fully recover in three.

What are the common causes of concussions at work?

Slips, stumbles, and falls, head trauma, and car accidents are common causes of concussions. An impact to the head could be caused by objects like falling boxes. In other situations, a worker can be struck by pupils, clients, or coworkers.

How can I prevent concussions among employees?

To prevent concussions in the workplace, encourage employees to take the following precautions:

  • Remove tripping hazards. Make sure walkways and workspaces are free of clutter, cords, puddles of water or anything else that could cause a slip, trip or fall
  • Use proper signage to alert employees of wet surfaces
  • Use handrails when taking the stairs
  • Avoid standing on chairs, desks or tables. Use a step stool instead
  • Use caution when working from heights. Never stand on the top two steps of a ladder
  • If a job requires wearing a helmet, make sure it’s properly fitted and in good condition

What should I do if an employee suffers a head injury?

It is imperative to receive a complete evaluation from a physician with experience diagnosing and treating concussions. Never attempt to diagnose a concussion on your own.

The employee should get therapy from a professional with knowledge of post-concussion syndrome for the best results.

If an employee is unable to work due to an injury, check in with them frequently to show them that you care and wish them a speedy recovery. Be compassionate and caring.

You can reassure the worker that the majority of symptoms normally go away fully within three months and resolve in a few weeks.

Contact us

If you are an employee who has suffered a concussion at work, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our expert team on 0345 872 6666 for advice, or fill out our online contact form for a callback at a time of your choice.

Did you find this post interesting? Share it on:

Related Posts