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Ohio University study shows theater workers face head injury risk

Studies are useful to determine which forms of employment carry the greatest risk for workers. Ohio residents should also pay attention to these studies as they can sometimes find danger where it had previously not been a common concern. For example, football is a sport known for its blows to the head and the scientific and anecdotal evidence of the risk of head injury is indisputable. A new study has examined another endeavor - working in the theater - and found that these workers can be affected by head injuries and the aftermath.

The study was conducted by Ohio University. It found that, of the 258 theater workers who took part in the survey, more than two-thirds had suffered a head injury at some point. Seventy-seven percent stated they had suffered more than three. Forty percent said they had suffered more than five. The head injuries also led to dizziness, sensitivity to light, and confusion, which are all symptoms of a concussion. Most of those injured reported that they kept working, while close to half did not report their injury. Because theater workers are not commonly viewed as being prone to head injuries like an athlete would be, they are not checked like an athlete and pulled from the situation.

The same justification that athletes use to keep injuries to themselves so they can continue doing their jobs is seen in theater workers. When working in a theater, the risks are different than on a sports field. Theater workers are moving equipment, stationed at great heights, and building things. The researchers suggest that steps be taken to ensure theaters understand the dangers and try to help their workers stay safe.

For those who have a job at a theater and suffer a head injury, it is imperative not to ignore what happened. The symptoms with brain injury can be subtle and creep up over a period of days or weeks. Those who are obviously injured should act immediately. Workers' compensation benefits can be imperative for people who have suffered a head injury, as the injury can leave them unable to work and in need of various forms of treatment. For anyone who has had a head injury in a theater job or any other type of employment, they should have assistance from a legal professional who is experienced in workplace injuries and workers' compensation.

Source: charlotteobserver.com, "Actors are getting brain injuries just like football players, study says," Scott Berson, April 4, 2018

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