When You Suffered a Brain Injury and Want to Return to Work
When you have received a traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to a workplace injury, you may find that some of the effects last longer than expected. TBIs can either be mild or severe. They are classified as mild when there is a mild loss of consciousness or confusion lasting about 30 minutes. Usually, you will only suffer from headaches, difficulty thinking, and mild mood swings with these issues. However, if you suffered from the most severe brain injury, then you may lose cognitive function on a higher level, which could cause loss of thinking, emotional problems, a problem with speech, and more for an extended period of time.
Employees who have sustained a brain injury are typically covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is a federal law protecting employees and applicants who now have disabilities due to their condition. This, of course, would include those with traumatic brain injuries. This means if a worker wants to return to their job but they now have a brain injury, they should still be given fair opportunity in the workplace if they have the education, experience, and licenses to qualify for the job. Sometimes, an employer must make accommodations to those with brain injuries as long as it does not severely interfere with the job at hand. This could mean shortened hours, modified equipment, job restructuring, part-time work schedules, better training materials, or reassignment to a different position if it calls for it.
Problems You May be Facing
If you have suffered from a TBI, you may be returning to work with an array of issues related to your TBI. This could include visual problems and light sensitivity, which could be affected for the worst when it comes to looking at a computer screen most of the day. You may have sound sensitivities, which could be impacted by you working in a loud warehouse. You may experience difficulty remembering certain things or difficulty maintaining concentration. No matter the case, most of your time your employer will be able to work around these issues.
Here is an in-depth list of accommodations that employers should consider making to meet your needs:
- Physical Limitations: Installing ramps and handrails, installing door handles that are lever style, clearing pathways of all unnecessary equipment or furniture so that you can get through
- Visual Problems: Providing large print information, increasing natural lighting, changing fluorescent lights to white lights to benefit you
- Maintaining Stamina: Permitting a more flexible schedule and allowing more breaks, providing additional time to learn new responsibility, allowing for job coaches, allowing you to move to a part-time work schedule
- Concentration: Reducing how many distractions are in a certain area, providing space enclosures in the office, encouraging you to focus on one task at a time
- Staying Organized: Reminding an employee of important deadlines, recognizing emotional needs, dividing large assignments to make them easier to handle, providing an electronic organizer
- Memory Deficit: Allowing the taping of meetings, providing written minutes of meetings, allowing for additional training time
If you have sustained a TBI in the workplace, you may have already moved forward with workers’ comp benefits, but if not, this is the right place to start. At the Los Angeles Injury Group, we want to speak to you as soon as possible if you have been injured in the workplace and you aren’t sure how to move forward. You should always be accommodated reasonably if you want to return to work, and we will walk you through the standard procedure. Call us today about your injury at 310-954-7248.