Burn injuries remain an unfortunate threat in the workplace, as demonstrated by a National Institutes of Health report on the topic. The NIH collected statistics from a number of sources on job-related burns and found that:
- Fires and explosions in the workplace account for more than 5,000 every year;
- During the two-year period from 2006-2006, 15 percent of all adult burn patients treated by one Augusta, Georgia burn unit suffered their injury while at work;
- Around 90 percent of victims who suffer burns on the job are male; and,
- An estimated 42 percent of all work-related injuries are burn injuries.
Workplace Environments Where Burns are Common
There are conditions present at certain types of job locations that make burn injuries more prevalent in some industries as compared to others. A worker is more likely to suffer a burn if he or she works in:
- Construction: Hazards on construction sites may include live electrical wires, steam, welding practices, equipment that requires gasoline or combustible fuel.
- Warehousing: There are multiple burn threats present in a warehouse work environment, such as improperly stored freight, electric forklifts, and similar equipment, and issues within lighting and circuits.
- Commercial Kitchens: The most obvious source of burn injuries in commercial kitchens is the stove, but burns from steam are also common.
- Factories: Manufacturing equipment, whether powered by combustible fuel or electricity, is subject to breaking down. Malfunctions can ignite the fuel and circuit issues can cause dangerous electrical arcs.
Still, while burn injuries occur more frequently in these industries, employees working in any type of environment can be susceptible to getting hurt in accidents. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established certain standards for fire exits in any workplace, but there are incidents every year, in almost every industry, where employers failed to comply with regulations.
Types of Workplace Burn Injuries
There are three primary types of burns that are common in the workplace setting, including:
- Thermal: This category of burns comes from contact with an open flame or another heat source, such as a hot surface, stove, machinery, liquid substances, or steam. A thermal burn may also result if clothing is ignited by another source, such as an electrical spark.
- Chemical: Hazardous, caustic, and toxic substances can cause burns to the exposed skin. An injury may be minor, such as from an extremely strong cleansing agent. However, injuries from solvents, especially acids, can also be quite serious and penetrate several layers of skin.
- Electrical: Defective or malfunctioning electrical equipment may spark and cause a burn injury on the job. An electrical arc may occur when current is disrupted and translates into heat, which can injure a person who comes into contact with an affected surface.
What to do if You Sustain a Burn Injury at Work
Your first priority is your health after any work-related injury, so seek appropriate medical attention to treat your burn injury. In addition, you should speak with an experienced lawyer right away about your circumstances. You may be able to recover compensation for the losses you suffer, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Trust a Dedicated Lawyer if You Suffered Burns in the Workplace
For more information about workplace burn injuries, please contact the experienced attorneys at Walker Morgan. Our Atlanta burn injury lawyers have been advocating on behalf of burn injury victims like you for decades, and we can help you get the compensation you deserve.