Burns are among the deadly injuries that occur in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration puts the annual death count from burn injuries in the workplace at 5,000. This figure will likely rise as most companies continue to expose their workers to serious burn threats, such as open-source flames and dangerous chemicals.
Here’s everything you need to know about workplace burn injuries, including the common workplace burns, how to avoid them, and what the law says about compensation.
Types of Workplace Burn Injuries
Burn injuries come from different sources, depending on your industry and line of work. The common types of burns include:
Employees who suffer thermal burns mostly handle heated items such as hot liquids, fires, and furnaces. These are workers involved in the food service industry or industrial warehouses where heat is the primary energy source.
Workers in this line of work should ensure they get protective gear from their employers before undertaking their responsibilities. Companies should also have rapid response teams in the event of an accident.
Direct exposure to corrosive substances such as alkaloids, acids, or industrial cleaners can cause skin and eye burns. Most workers who suffer chemical burns either end up with second or third-degree burns, both of which are potentially life-threatening. Therefore, companies should ensure proper labeling of chemical substances. If possible, they should train workers on how to treat chemical burns.
Burns from electrocution are among the leading causes of death, especially for workers in the construction industry. In 2018, there were 160 recorded fatalities from electrical burns. After electrocution with high voltage electricity, the current travels through your body, creating heat burns that damage the skin tissue.
When handling electric materials, ensure your body is not in direct contact with water and you have protective gear on. You should also be aware of high voltage areas and live wires within the workplace to be secure.
Compensation for Workplace Burns
A burn injury can render you inactive and unable to attend work for some time. However, you still need to eat, keep a roof over your head, and pay your medical bills during this period.
Workers who suffer workplace burn injuries can file for compensation from their employers provided they were sober then, and the injury is not self-inflicted. This payment covers most of your expenses, including your hospital bill, lost wages, and pocket expenses during your period off.
You must quickly report a burn injury to your employer or risk losing a significant portion of the compensation package. You should also avoid delaying treatment as it only makes it harder to get paid.
Workplace Burn Injuries Attorneys
Workplace burn injuries can be expensive to treat. An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help determine the financial costs of a burn injury. They’ll also work hard to ensure you get maximum compensation, depending on the severity of the injury.
Therefore, look for a reputable firm to present your claim and follow it up. If you’re in Missouri and looking for a workers comp attorney, contact the Law Office of James. M. Hoffman 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.