Burns are a common injury at home and in the workplace. Even with safety guidelines, there is still a considerable number of burns the happen on the job each year. In a 2011 report from the "Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters," researchers found that 40 percent of all burn deaths were related to workplace explosions and fires. Unfortunately, there is a higher degree of men who experience burn injuries on the job.
The degrees of burn injuries
Most people understand the three degrees of burn injuries, even if they don't know exactly what each one means:
- First- red skin without blistering
- Second - blisters, thickened skin
- Third - thickened skin that is a white color
Generally, a first-degree burn can be treated at home, but second-degree burns may need medical treatment. Some second-degree burns even require hospitalization and a skin graft, depending on severity of the burn. Third-degree burns should always get medical treatment. There is a fourth degree, in which the damage goes to the bone and skin. Specialized treatment is required for this degree of burn.
Sources of burn injuries
Burn injuries don't only occur by fire or touching a hot pan. In the workplace, there are other ways to get burned, such as:
- Electrical burns, as the name implies, are caused by electricity. Always get medical treatment with this type of burn, because you can't judge the degree of the burn by the external appearance.
- Chemical burns occur from a strong acid or strong alkaline substance, such as bleach or lye. To stop the damage to the skin, medical treatment is required.
- Thermal burns are the ones most people are familiar with. These happen from explosions, hot liquids, flame and contact with hot materials.
- Radiological burns are caused by radiation. Most people won't ever encounter this type of burn.
If you've been burned on the job, you may have more issues than just your injuries and medical bills. Burns can have a long-lasting effect on your health and well-being, and you may require therapy and occupational training before you can get back to work. Workers' compensation benefits should pay for your medical bills, compensate for missed work and provide for your ongoing therapy, but that doesn't always happen.
Talk to a personal injury lawyer about your options after an injury on the job. You deserve to move on with your life without worry and a minimum of unnecessary discomfort. If you need assistance in getting the benefits you deserve, it's best that you have an advocate to go to bat for you.