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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1063; doi:10.3390/ijerph13111063

Preventive Effects of Safety Helmets on Traumatic Brain Injury after Work-Related Falls

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine and Chungju Hospital, Chungju 27376, Korea
2
Laboratory of Emergency Medical Services, Seoul National University Hospital Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul 03080, Korea
3
Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul 03080, Korea
4
Department of Emergency Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan 15355, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 12 September 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 29 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [291 KB, uploaded 29 October 2016]

Abstract

Introduction: Work-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by falls is a catastrophic event that leads to disabilities and high socio-medical costs. This study aimed to measure the magnitude of the preventive effect of safety helmets on clinical outcomes and to compare the effect across different heights of fall. Methods: We collected a nationwide, prospective database of work-related injury patients who visited the 10 emergency departments between July 2010 and October 2012. All of the adult patients who experienced work-related fall injuries were eligible, excluding cases with unknown safety helmet use and height of fall. Primary and secondary endpoints were intracranial injury and in-hospital mortality. We calculated adjusted odds ratios (AORs) of safety helmet use and height of fall for study outcomes, and adjusted for any potential confounders. Results: A total of 1298 patients who suffered from work-related fall injuries were enrolled. The industrial or construction area was the most common place of fall injury occurrence, and 45.0% were wearing safety helmets at the time of fall injuries. The safety helmet group was less likely to have intracranial injury comparing with the no safety helmet group (the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence interval (CI)): 0.42 (0.24–0.73)), however, there was no statistical difference of in-hospital mortality between two groups (the adjusted ORs (95% CI): 0.83 (0.34–2.03). In the interaction analysis, preventive effects of safety helmet on intracranial injury were significant within 4 m height of fall. Conclusions: A safety helmet is associated with prevention of intracranial injury resulting from work-related fall and the effect is preserved within 4 m height of fall. Therefore, wearing a safety helmet can be an intervention for protecting fall-related intracranial injury in the workplace. View Full-Text
Keywords: occupational injuries; accidental falls; traumatic brain injury occupational injuries; accidental falls; traumatic brain injury
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, S.C.; Ro, Y.S.; Shin, S.D.; Kim, J.Y. Preventive Effects of Safety Helmets on Traumatic Brain Injury after Work-Related Falls. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1063.

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