Life After the Fall — Traumatic Brain Injury

You can work for years and hardly get a scratch, and then one day a fall at work can change your life forever. Falls may cause injuries such as abrasions, fractures, and dislocations. However, one of the most serious results of a fall, other than death, is a head injury. How this will affect you depends on which part of your brain has been injured as a result of the fall or impact.

Several factors determine which body parts are injured and the severity of the injuries resulting from a fall. As a result, traumatic brain injury can occur to workers in any occupation. Factors to consider are:

  • The distance of a fall (velocity and momentum) — You could fall from the top of the stairwell or trip on the same level.
  • The angle of the body at impact — We’re not like cats, which land on all fours.
  • The obstacles the body strikes as it falls — You could fall down steps, or against the corner of a desk.
  • The surface eventually landed on — Will it be a gravel parking lot, a pile of hay, or broken concrete?

Broken bones usually heal, but traumatic head injuries can result in lifelong problems that affect you and your loved ones. These include:

  • Changes in personality, such as increased anxiety, depression or anger
  • Difficulties with eye and hand coordination, and the inability to handle tools or play sports well
  • Defects in vision and visual illusions
  • Short-term memory loss or interference with long-term memory
  • Increased aggressive behavior
  • Difficulty in distinguishing left from right
  • Changes in social behavior

Stay alert! Head injuries can have devastating consequences that may affect your life forever.


  • Remind your workers to play it safe and avoid taking risks.
  • Encourage employees to report unsafe conditions immediately to the nearest supervisor.
  • Make it a habit to work safely, regardless of time pressures and productivity goals.
  • Train employees in the proper use of fall protection and fall restraint equipment. Consistently enforce your fall protection rules.
  • Provide non-skid strips or floor mats in slippery or wet areas.
  • Ensure that workers wear proper footwear for their work environment, whether in the office, shop, feedlot or field.