St. Louis Burn Injury Lawyer – St. Louis Chemical Burn Attorney
At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, we work with employees from a wide range of industries to pursue the right benefits or to appeal a denial of your injury claim.
OSHA estimates that there are more than 5,000 workers that are hospitalized each year after getting burned in the workplace. Approximately 200 of those burn victims do not survive. Burns are very serious work-related injuries.
However, there are several different types of burns. They also vary in severity. Many people think of firefighters who risk their lives battling fires. Yet, there are a wide range of occupations that make it’s workers susceptible to being burned in the workplace.
Types of Burn Injuries in the Workplace
Employees that suffer burns in the workplace are significantly effected financially, as well as physically and emotionally. Even though organizations such as OSHA have put numerous safety measures and guidelines in place to protect workers from these types of accidents, burns in the workplace are still a considerable problem.
Statistically, workplace burn injuries affect young male workers. Chemical burns and scalds are predominantly the leading causes of these accidents. Typically, a burn is caused by dry heat, such as by fire. Whereas a scald is caused by something that is wet, like steam or boiling water.
Here are the most common types of burns in the workplace:
- Chemical Burns – these types of burns are caused by substances like paint thinner, strong acids, oxidizers, solvents and alkylating agents. A chemical burn occurs when these or other corrosive substances come into contact with soft tissues, such as a person’s eyes, skin, internal organs, or ears.
- Electrical Burns – these are the result of a person coming in contact with either a direct current or an alternating current. Electrical burns occur when a person touches an electrical wire or socket, falls into electrified water, or is struck by lightening.
- Thermal Burns – these types of burns are the result of a person making contact with a flame, boiling water, steam or other boiling liquid. They can occur due to touching hot objects, such as tools, engines, pipes, or motors. Sunburn, or extended exposure to the sun, is another type of thermal burn.
Depending on the type of burn a worker experiences, the burn can result in skin damage and internal injuries. Other complications from burns can occur. If a person suffers an electrical burn complications can be shock or cardiac arrest.
Many people that suffer burns in the workplace end up needing extensive medical treatment. They may need rehabilitation and mental and emotional counseling. Burn injuries may mean that a worker misses a substantial amount of work, or they may need partial or total disability.
The Different Types of Burn Ratings
Chemical, electrical and thermal burns are rated according to the severity of the burn. This is how they are classified:
- First Degree – this is considered the least serious as this affects only the outer layer of skin. They result in redness, pain and discomfort. The treatment for first degree burns are minor.
- Second Degree – these are similar to first degree burns but they affect both the first and second layers of skin. There is also redness, pain and discomfort but will often result in blisters and maybe some scarring.
- Third Degree – these types of burns go past the first and second layers of skin and can affect nerves. These often result in scarring that is waxy or leathery. They are often very painful and require pain management.
- Fourth Degree – these are considered the most serious. A fourth degree burn penetrates deep beneath the skin, causing severe nerve damage and charring muscles, tendons, ligaments and even bones. These are unfortunately often fatal.
Workers Compensation Benefits for Burns in the Workplace
If you have been injured at work due to a chemical, electrical, or thermal burn, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. If you are able, inform your employer or supervisor. Depending on the severity of your burn injury, you may need extensive medical and emotional treatment. It is important to speak to a St. Louis workers compensation attorney as soon as possible to make sure you are receiving ALL of your benefits, not just the ones your employers insurance carrier wants to accept.