Workers across many industries are at risk for burn injuries, including restaurant workers, construction workers, workers who operate heavy machinery, and those dealing with chemicals. Burn injuries can be severe and life changing, often leaving the person unable to continue working. They often require multiple surgeries and lengthy rehabilitation afterwards. The trauma of a burn injury often inflicts physical scars. Fortunately for those injured in a work-related accident, burns are covered by Workers’ Compensation.
Types of Burn Injuries
Most people associate burns with open flames, however there are many different types of burn injuries, including:
- Cold burns: Better known as frostbite, cold burns happen when cold temperatures or objects cause the surface of the skin to freeze
- Thermal burns: Caused by hot metal surfaces, steam, hot frying oil, or flames
- Radiation burns: Common sources of radiation burns include radiation therapy, X-rays, and sunburn
- Electrical burns: Electrical shocks can burn the skin and damage underlying tissues
- Chemical burns: Contact with chemicals used for cleaning, such as acids, solvents, and detergents, can cause burns. Fumes released in explosions can also burn the skin.
Severity of Burns
Workers’ Compensation benefits will be calculated depending on the severity of your injuries and the location of your burns. Burn injuries are rated in the following degrees:
- First degree burns result in redness, pain, and mild discomfort, with the outer layer of skin is affected
- Second degree burns affect two layers of skin and result in redness, pain, discomfort, and often blisters or scarring
- Third degree burns are extremely painful because they go deeper and can even destroy the nerves under the skin, leaving behind white, waxy, and leathery skin
- Fourth degree burns are the worst type of burn and can be fatal. They are so severe that everything beneath the skin, including nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones, is affected by the burn.
Preventing Burn Injuries
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that more than 5,000 people annually need hospital treatment after experiencing burns at work. Sadly, many of these injuries are preventable and OSHA has standards for safety aimed at minimizing the risk of burns, including:
- Procedures for the usage and secure storage of chemical cleaning agents
- Guidelines for working in both cold and hot temperatures
- Safety standards for preventing electrical shock and electrocution on worksites
- Requirements to provide training for all workers in a language they can understand, warning them of safety hazards that could cause burns
Employers have a responsibility to provide a workplace free of safety hazards and provide personal protective equipment to workers where applicable.
Compensation for Burn Injuries
If you sustained burn injuries in a work accident, Workers’ Compensation benefits can cover your medical care, lost wages, and disability payments if you are unable to return to your job. Death benefits are available to dependents of a worker who suffers a fatality. It is also possible to recover compensation from a third-party lawsuit in cases where negligence from an external party caused the accident. For example, if a defective product caused your burn injury, the manufacturer could be held liable. Consult with an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer to make sure you receive the maximum compensation allowable for your case.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Recover Compensation for Workers with Burn Injuries
If you or someone you love was injured in a workplace accident, you have the right to compensation for your injuries. At McCann & Wall, LLC, we will fight to make sure you receive the benefits you need to recover. Call us at 302-888-1221 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyer or complete our online contact form. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we represent injured workers throughout the state, including Dover, Newark, and Middletown.