Examining Occupational Traumatic Brain Injury in Ontario Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: Occupational traumatic brain injuries disrupt the lives of workers and carry major economic repercussions. To date, there has been limited information on brain injuries that occur at work across injury severity levels in Canada. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of occupational traumatic brain injuries in Ontario, with a focus on the sex of the workers. METHODS: For this cross-sectional study, data from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board were used. A retrospective chart review was conducted of over 1,500 claim files from the year 2004 with the diagnostic codes of concussion and intracranial injury. Severity was assessed according to data on days off work. RESULTS: The average age of those injured was 37.8 years. The breakdown by sex shows that 57.8% of claims for occupational traumatic brain injury involved males. The most common mechanism of injury was being "struck by or against", followed by "falls". Most of the occupational traumatic brain injuries were from the manufacturing, and government and related services sectors. The highest rate, however, was shown for transportation and storage (81.5/100,000), followed by government and related services (56.6/100,000) and primary industries (47/100,000). CONCLUSIONS: An examination of occupational traumatic brain injuries across a range of severities reveals a profile that is different from that associated with more severely injured workers: there were many more women in particular industries who were injured and more injuries involving being struck by an object. This paper provides data on key industries, mechanisms and contributing factors involved in work-related traumatic brain injury that result in claims to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.


  • Salerno, Jennifer
  • Colantonio, Angela
  • Mroczek, David
  • Patel, Jigisha
  • Lewko, John
  • Fergenbaum, Jennifer
  • Brison, Robert

publication date

  • March 2010