Work-related traumatic brain injury: A brief report on workers perspective on job and health and safety training, supervision, and injury preventability

Work. 2019;62(2):319-325. doi: 10.3233/WOR-192866.


Background: Although work-related injuries are on the decline, rates of work-related traumatic brain injury (wrTBI) continue to rise. As even mild wrTBI can result in cognitive, behavioural, and functional impairments that can last for months and even years, injury prevention is a primary research focus. Administrative claims data have provided valuable insights into the mechanisms that cause wrTBI; however, data from the perspective of injured workers on wrTBI prevention is limited.

Objective: Our study aimed to better understand the factors that precipitate wrTBI, as perceived by injured workers.

Methods: We recruited 101 injured workers from a neurology services clinic with a province-wide catchment area in a large, urban teaching hospital and studied perceived preventability of these injuries from the injured workers' perspective.

Results: Key findings were that nearly 80% of injuries were perceived as preventable, and nearly 25% and 50% of workers reported that they did not receive job and health and safety training, respectively. Less than half of all workers reported being regularly supervised, and of those who were supervised, approximately two-thirds reported that supervision was adequate. Moreover, 84% and 77% reported they were advised to rest and take time-off after the injury, respectively.

Conclusions: Our study is the first to show that the vast majority of injured workers consider their wrTBI to be preventable. In addition, we found that training and supervision are two areas that can be targeted by wrTBI prevention strategies. Our study provides valuable and unique perspectives to consider when designing wrTBI prevention initiatives.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / complications
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health / standards*
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupational Injuries / complications
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology
  • Occupational Injuries / psychology*
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Teaching / psychology
  • Teaching / standards*