Burn injuries at work are a more frequent occurrence than we may expect in industries that deal with chemicals, electricity, heated liquids, and radiation materials. Have you ever been burned at work? If yes, did you get compensated fairly? Compensation for burns at work should be done immediately to enable employees to recover their lost wages.
Workers’ compensation covers common workplace burn injuries such as electrical, thermal, and chemical burns. You or your loved ones are entitled to making a workers’ compensation claim when involved in a work-related accident that results in severe burn injuries.
Contact David Aylor Law Offices throughout South Carolina to start preparing your case.
Occupations With the Highest Risk of Severe Burns at Work
Some occupations have a high risk of severe burns at work. They include:
- Firefighters: Unlike other careers, firefighters run to combat fire head-on; this exposes them to burn injuries from fire or dangerous chemicals inhaled. Such incidents also lead to psychological trauma in the long run.
- Foodservice workers: Chefs and cooks are prone to burn injuries because they work closely with scalding liquids and hot ovens, which could spell disaster quickly.
- Electricians: Electric workers are at a greater risk of work injury burns when repairing electrical equipment or climbing over cables to restore power.
- Mechanics: Motor vehicle mechanics are exposed to burn injuries when handling radiators or welding cars using an oxy-acetylene flame, which attains high-temperature flames of up to 3,000 °C.
- Construction workers: A construction site has all the hazards capable of causing burn injuries, ranging from chemicals, electrical wires, and welding flames.
- Janitorial workers: Janitors are more likely to get burn injuries from chemical hazards such as acids present at hospitals and industrial sites.
What Complications Arise from Dealing with Burns?
Complications from burns depend on the degree of the injury.
The three levels of burns are:
- 1st-degree burn: The burn affects the epidermis only and causes redness in the affected area. There are no blisters. It’s usually a minor injury.
- 2nd-degree burn: The burn affects the two skin layers (epidermis and dermis). Blisters may develop on the site area, and the pain experienced can be severe.
- 3rd-degree burn: The burn goes beyond the epidermis and dermis layer and reaches the fat layer of the skin. The nerves are also destroyed, leading to numbness.
Several complications arise from these severe burns:
- Scars are caused by overgrown tissues trying to repair burn wounds. Sometimes the scarring and disfigurement causes emotional distress later
- Mobility problems can happen when the scar tissue causes the skin to tighten, affecting your joints’ movement
- Bacterial infection can further lead to bloodstream infection (sepsis)
- Burned skin makes it harder to maintain a steady body temperature, potentially leading to hypothermia
- Severe burns make the body lose fluids such as blood and water
How is a second or third-degree burn treated?
Second-degree burns are less severe than third-degree burns, but they should not be neglected because they affect the epidermis (outer skin layer) and part of the dermis (second skin layer).
When second-degree burns affect a large part of the skin, they can be excruciating and prone to infections.
Symptoms of second-degree burns
Second-degree burn symptoms include:
- A wet-looking wound
- Skin sensitivity accompanied by intense pain
- Blisters on the burn site
Treating a second-degree wound
- Protect the burn injury by covering it loosely with a loose dressing or gauze.
- Drink enough water to avoid dehydration.
- Don’t apply home remedies.
- A doctor should clean the burn wound and apply antibiotic cream.
- A doctor may also prescribe antibiotics if the wound has been exposed to infection.
- If the burn wound covers a large part of your skin, you will have to stay at the hospital for further monitoring.
- Don’t break open blisters.
- When discharged from the hospital, keep the burn wound clean and covered.
A third-degree burn destroys the entire epidermis and dermis and sometimes extends deeper beneath the dermis layer into the fat layer.
Symptoms of a third-degree burn
- White, black, yellow, or brown skin
- Leathery and dry skin
- Numbness because nerves have been destroyed
Third-degree burns take time to heal, and it’s also important to note that hair won’t grow in the affected area because hair follicles have been destroyed.
How to treat third-degree burns
Treatment of such burns can be done through the following:
- Tetanus shot to combat any infections.
- Antibiotic ointments
- Cleaning and debriding
- Administering pain medications
- Skin grafting to repair the wounded area
- Cosmetic reconstruction improves function or normal appearance, especially if the burn wound is on the face.
Request a Free Consultation for Your Compensation Case in Charleston
Following up on a work-related burn injury claim can be a daunting task and emotionally draining by yourself. You must present concrete facts as the plaintiff to win the claim for compensation. Our experienced attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices have handled numerous related work injury cases like yours.
We take every responsibility to move your claim forward. Contact our workers’ compensation attorneys in Charleston online and get a free case evaluation.
Workers’ Compensation FAQs
What options are there to receive compensation for this treatment?
First, you may be entitled to claims arising from permanent impairment as a result of the burn. Secondly, future medical expenses arising from the burn injury should be fully paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company.
What happens when insurance carriers fail to authorize medical care?
Compensation insurance companies tend to control the kind of doctors you see and sometimes disagree with the doctor’s report. An attorney can ensure they adhere to the law.
What happens when the doctor declares I have reached MMI?
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is declared when your injuries sustained at work can’t be improved any further. If you achieve MMI, your treating physician will forward findings on the impairment rating, and the insurance company should pay the compensation.