Presentation W P19

W P19 (Poster Presentation):
Epidemiology of work-related traumatic brain injury: a review

Presented by: Vicky Chang


Chang V1, Colantonio A1,2,3

  1. Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada



Although occupational traumatic brain injury (TBI) is considered among the most serious of workplace injuries, to date there has not been a comprehensive review of the literature on the epidemiology of TBI occurring at work. This study aimed to examine the burden, risk factors, and outcomes of work-related TBI (wrTBI) based on a synthesis of the literature.


A search was conducted in Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, and CINAHL using a combination of keywords relating to TBI and occupational injury. In addition to studies focusing on the epidemiology of wrTBI alone, those examining occupational injuries or TBIs in general were included if the number or percentage of wrTBI cases were reported.


A total of fifty-two studies were included in this review, twenty-three of which specifically examined wrTBI. The annual incidence ranged from 6.2 to 49.4 per 100,000 workers, and wrTBI comprised 11 to 49% of occupational injuries and 2 to 24% of TBIs overall. Male sex and younger and older age were associated with greater risk of wrTBI. The construction industry ranked among the top in terms of the number of cases, while primary industries experienced the highest rates of severe/fatal wrTBI. In general, falls were identified as the leading cause of wrTBI, followed by either motor vehicle crashes or being struck by/against objects. Depending on the data sources used, injury severity and outcome measures varied widely across studies.


This work highlights workers most at risk for wrTBI. Methodological variations contributed to differences in epidemiologic findings across studies. Future research should aim to improve study design and bridge knowledge gaps in order to advance prevention efforts.

Schedule Details

Wednesday October 1
13:00 - 14:00 Poster Viewing
Session: Varia