Concussion in the Workplace

Resources and strategies for the prevention and early intervention of concussion: an invisible disease.

The brain is the most important part of our bodies. Our ability to move, to talk, our thoughts, our emotions, and our decisions, allow us to live meaningful lives, yet, hasn’t been treated that way until recent years. In 2013, 17 year old Rowan Stringer, passed away as a result of multiple concussions sustained playing rugby. As we know today because of the research, early markers of post-concussion syndrome were apparent, but no actions were taken. This event prompted what is known today as “Rowan’s Law,” which was passed in June, 2016. Since then, a great deal of funding, research and education has gone into efforts to prevent and provide early invention to those who have sustained a trauma to the brain.

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Concussion has been a well-known mild brain injury in the sports world. However, concussion is also common at the workplace and many times is an invisible illness as most often it goes undetected. At the workplace, a fall from a ladder, or slips/trips/fall or a physical fight with another worker, or even hitting an accident where there is an impact to the neck, back or head, can lead to concussion. Therefore, it is imperative to know that concussion is not only a sport related injury but is also prevalent in the workplace.   

 

Since concussion is an emerging issue, PSHSA is helping build awareness through a webinar and fast fact resources specific to concussion.

Concussion in the Workplace Webinar

Concussions in the workplace are common, and account for 80% of traumatic brain injuries to workers. (The College of Family Physicians of Canada, Occupational Medicine, 2016) Although concussions sustained at the workplace may not always seem serious, they should still be taken seriously and managed accordingly. In this webinar we will explore the signs and symptoms of concussion, the functional implications, and how to approach early intervention and return to work planning in these situations.

PSHSA Resources

Concussion in the Workplace Fast Fact
This Fast Fact contains information about concussion in the work place, related signs and symptoms and prevention techniques which can help identify concussion in a worker and also prevent concussion from occurring at the workplace.
Healthy Worker: Brain Health
This section will provide more information about the brain and how it changes with age and will explore steps that you can take to maintain a healthy brain.  It will also explore the impact that work and stress can have on your brain health, and help you understand what steps you can take to stay healthy at work.
Speaking to Colleagues and Staff about Mental Health
This one hour webinar will provide specific information and guidance about what to say and do without overstepping boundaries or taking on too much responsibility. The webinar will also review what to do if a coworker or employee discloses mental health issues and how to foster a more open culture in the workplace.

External Resources

 

 

Resources developed by the University of Toronto Acquired Brain Injury Research Lab :

  • Educational Video - Animated video about concussion and brain injury in various workplace settings aims to raise awareness not only of the potential seriousness of even a mild TBI at work, but that there is the potential for such an injury to occur at all
  • Educational App - Designed to provide employees and employers with information on the most common signs, symptoms, and causes of a work related (wr) TBI. The app links users to additional resources to inform identification and management of wrTBI.
  • Publication: Heads-Up: What You Need to Know About Concussions in the Workplace

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