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Burns in the Workplace

Burn injuries are among the most painful and troublesome injuries that can happen to somebody, as they cause significant harm and can take a long time to treat and heal – and sometimes they can cause permanent damage such as amputations. Burn injuries that can occur in the workplace are also entirely preventable, so if you or a loved one suffered a burn injury at the workplace you are more than likely eligible for workers’ compensation and may be able to recover damages through a personal injury claim, which the attorneys at the Cambridge firm of Altman & Altman LLP can help you with at any time.

According to the American Burn Association, nearly 500,000 burn injuries are treated each year. While nearly three out of every four burns happen as a result of something occurring in a victim’s home, the second leading cause of burn injuries that lead to hospitalization occur at the victim’s place of occupation. Therefore, a workplace burn incident is not at all uncommon, and could happen at any time.

Types of Burn Injuries

All burns have one thing in common – they are injuries caused by an adverse application of heat to the human body. Burns can happen to any part of the body with a varying degree of severity (from non-serious, first degree burns to the most serious fourth degree burns that may be life threatening) and can be caused by a variety of means, including:

Chemical burns – Caused by skin coming into contact with potent chemicals, such as acids or alkaline materials, chemical burns can result in skin blistering or even being eaten away by the corrosive chemicals. They can happen to anybody working in a place where dangerous chemicals are utilized, including cleaning businesses where corrosive cleaners are used; plumbing businesses; scientific research facilities or any array of specialty workshops where chemicals are used for various means.

Thermal burns – These burns are among the most common, as they can happen from more widely available hazards. Most often, thermal burns are caused by things like open flames, hot surfaces or boiling water, which may scorch or scald the skin and cause serious superficial damage. A thermal burn can happen to a barista who gets hit by scalding hot steam from a malfunctioning espresso maker, by a steel worker who is victimized by an exploding kiln or anybody who works near excessively hot materials.

Electrical burns – Caused by an electrical current flowing through the body and essentially microwaving the skin from the inside, electrical burns cause nasty injuries and are a constant threat to electricians, utility pole workers, railroad maintenance workers and anybody who works near flowing electricity for their job. Electrical burns can be widespread throughout the body and very serious.

Sun burns – Although most people think of sunburns as a minor risk of leisurely vacation time, those who work out in the beating sun for many hours at a time may suffer serious sun burns if not provided proper sun protection, whether that be sunscreen or protective head gear. Sun burns can actually result in serious injuries, especially if they are left untreated, leaving a possibility for infection.

Was Your Burn Preventable?

Burns may happen completely by accident, but in many cases burns that happen at work could have been prevented if an employer was taking their responsibility to ensure a safe workplace more seriously.

For jobs that put workers around open flames, hot surfaces, corrosive chemicals or flowing electricity, proper training is absolutely non-negotiable to ensure that employees understand how to prevent being burned or shocked while on the job. Proper safety gear, such as thermal clothing and anti-electrical accessories (like gloves) must be provided to lessen the risk of these types of burns. For employees working outside, proper sun protection is also necessary to prevent nasty sun burns from occurring.

If you were burned while on the job and feel as though more could have been done to prevent the injury, contact a personal injury attorney at Altman & Altman LLP today. We have over 50 years of experience handling every type of workers’ compensation and personal injury claim imaginable. We will ensure you are able to collect money to pay for hospital bills and make up for money lost from being unable to work during your recovery.

Burns can be especially debilitating, and we will make sure you are able to collect money owed to you after an employer fails to keep you safe, resulting in a burn injury. Contact us online or call for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24/7.

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