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How Common are Workplace Burn Injuries?

Paramedic sitting next to a patient.

Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from mild to severe burns each year, and many visit an emergency room for treatment.  In 2016, the American Burn Association (ABA) reported that approximately 8 percent of injuries treated in burn centers occur in the workplace. If you work in a hazardous environment, it is important to understand the causes of burn injuries and exercise caution while on the job. En español

Types of Workplace Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are one of the nation’s leading causes of unintentional injury or death. According to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, approximately 486,000 burn injuries received medical treatment from 2011 to 2015. A burn injury can occur when one’s skin is exposed to extreme heat, dangerous chemicals, radiation, electricity, or friction. There are three main types of burns:

  • First-degree burns are mild, superficial burns that turn the skin red and cause discomfort. A sunburn is a common first-degree instance.
  • Second-degree burns impact several layers of skin. Damage to these layers causes severe blisters and makes the skin appear shiny.
  • Third-degree burns impact the skin’s deeper layers. These wounds appear severe and turn either black or white in color. While many people assume these injuries would be the most painful, third-degree burns often cause numbness due to nerve damage.
  • Fourth-degree burns are the most damaging and could affect the muscles, bones, or nerves. Common causes include extreme heat, friction, cold, or radiation.

High-Risk Occupations

Burn injuries can occur in many different work environments. However, certain occupations carry a higher risk since they expose workers to dangerous substances or circumstances. For example, these professionals face a heightened risk on the job:

  • Firefighters
  • Vehicle and equipment cleaners
  • Food service personnel
  • Plant workers
  • Offshore drilling rig workers
  • Construction workers
  • Electricians
  • Health care workers
  • Outdoor workers

According to the American Burn Association, the primary causes of burn injuries include flames, contact with hot objects, electrical issues, or dangerous chemicals. If you work in an environment that exposes you to any of these hazards, you may face a heightened burn risk and should exercise caution.

Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer Today

Employers are required to maintain a safe work environment, but unexpected accidents can occur. If you were severely burned at work, you may be entitled to financial compensation. An experienced Abogados Central Legal attorney could outline your rights, compile evidence related to the accident, and construct a persuasive legal defense. Call today to learn more.

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