Potential Danger of Burn Injuries
Each year, thousands of burns occur from hazards in the workplace. Burns occur in an instant, yet they often produce serious, long-lasting effects. In addition to painful tissue damage, deep burns can lead to scarring, disfigurement or amputation. Other complications of serious burns include infection, organ dysfunction, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory problems. About 5% of workplace burns lead to death.
The most frequent causes of workplace burns are heat, electricity, and chemicals
Heat burns are those caused by flames, hot surfaces, scalding liquids or steam. Flames can be produced by many means, including faulty electrical or gas connections, improperly stored combustibles, or sparks from machinery or equipment. Injurious fires and explosions can occur suddenly in almost any work environment.
Unlike injuries from flames, injuries from hot liquids and steam are generally limited to employees regularly subject to these particular risks. For example, a restaurant or kitchen worker may fall against a container of boiling oil, a roofer or road worker may be scalded by a hot tar spill, or a commercial laundry worker may encounter a harmful blast of steam.
Electrical burns occur when high-voltage electricity flows through the body. Those working as electricians or in related fields are subject to this ever-present danger. Many employees, such as those working around industrial machinery, may be subject to an electrical burn if wires or cables are exposed or damaged.
Sometimes electrical current causes a serious burn wound upon exiting the body. Other times it may not show on the skin at all, but still causes damage deep within the tissues beneath your skin.
Chemical burns are caused by exposure to corrosive substances, such as strong acids, bases, solvents and other caustic solutions. Chemical burns usually occur through direct contact with the skin or eyes, but can also occur through inhalation. Some strong chemicals will dissolve human tissue on contact. Others will diffuse into the tissue and cause damage under the skin, sometimes without immediately noticing harm to the surface. Chemicals do not need a source of heat to cause a serious burn.
Occupations most prone to chemical burn accidents include those in laboratory, medical, maintenance, warehouse and manufacturing fields, as well as employees working as hazardous material drivers and handlers.
Experts in Georgia Workers' Compensation
An employer is required to provide a safe environment for working. So if you received a burn injury while at work, you may be entitled to certain workers compensation benefits. Bear in mind that the severity of a burn will depend upon the part of the body affected and how much tissue damage and related complications have occurred.
Since every work-related burn is different, you will likely have questions about the workers compensation process and how to proceed. As experts in Georgia workers compensation, the Vic Alexander law firm will provide the guidance you need to receive fair treatment for your burn injury. Give us a call at 404.815.1776 for a free, no-obligation consultation.