Does your workplace wellness program include concussion awareness and prevention? If not, it’s time to give that strong consideration. When concussions happen, employees could be out of work for an extended period of time and will often require special accommodations upon returning to work. Concussion recovery can be a slow, tedious process. Are you prepared to offer the kind of support a concussed employee might need to make a full recovery?
Workplace head injuries are some of the most serious of on-the-job injuries.
Most workplace head trauma is caused by falling objects, slip and falls, malfunctioning and broken equipment, and driving accidents. Occupations with the highest risk of head injury include construction workers, firefighters, police officers, loading dock workers, and delivery personnel. But head injuries don’t have to happen at work to impact employers. Those that happen off the job are equally as impactful in effecting an employee’s ability to perform their job.
More and more employers are starting to consider adding concussion education and baseline testing to their employee wellness efforts and insurance incentive programs. If employees are better educated about concussion signs and symptoms, as well as prevention measures and best practices for treatment, that ultimately results in fewer injuries, faster treatment and recovery, fewer days of lost work, and lower insurance costs for all involved.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that concussions cause approximately $60,770 in direct costs and $66,847 in indirect costs per incidence of concussion in the workplace. Due to the significant loss of productivity and financial costs associated with concussions, it is imprudent that companies would not offer concussion education and baseline testing as part of their wellness programs.
More and more commercial insurance underwriters are asking questions about concussion education and protocols in the workplace as they weigh risk exposure and determine premiums. With effective concussion programs in place, employers could possibly negotiate better rates with their healthcare and workers compensation insurance carriers for their efforts.
Whether you are an employee or a CEO, make a point to go talk with your workplace wellness coordinator and ask them for this important education and testing. The Concussion Institute at Gwinnett Medical Center offers this type of programming and service to the community, so there’s no excuse. Make the call today. Everyone in our community can have a heads up on concussion!