What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation and Burns
Despite the numerous safety measures and guidelines put in place by law, burns in the workplace continue to account for a considerable portion of all burns. According to the American Burn Association, eight percent of burns occur at work. And here in Florida, over 800 workers have already filed workers’ compensation claims in 2018 based on burns incurred at work. While many people recover from burns without any serious long-term health implications, this does not change the pain and suffering that an injured worker experienced in the meantime. And unfortunately, everyone does not recover. Further, in addition to the physical impact, a burn injury can cause substantial economic and social problems for workers and their families who find their circumstances suddenly changed. Workers’ compensation benefits can literally be life changing under these circumstances and you are entitled to them if you are burned at work.
What Are the Types of Burn Injuries in the Workplace?
Different types of occupations have risks of different types of burns. The various kinds of workplace burns are:
Chemical – anyone who regularly works with chemicals has the potential to be burned by them. Workers who are at risk for chemicals burns include janitors, housekeepers, plumbers, and chemists. These kinds of burns are typically caused by strong acids and alkali substances and do not need heat to cause damage to human flesh.
Electrical – electricians obviously have a higher risk of being electrocuted than those in most other occupations, but others who work in the construction industry can also become exposed to electrical burns. This is especially true if a worksite is not in compliance with regulations.
Thermal – these include burns that are caused by fire, steam, hot surfaces, or very hot liquids. Workers who may be at risk for thermal burns include cooks, servers, bakers, and others who are involved in the food service industry.
Severe Sunburn – while these burns are probably the kind considered to be the most common and least dangerous, the reality is that sunburn can be severe to the point of requiring medical attention as with any other kind of burn. Workers at risk for severe sunburn include anyone who works primarily outside such as construction workers and lifeguards.
What Should I Do After Being Burned at Work?
Get the medical care you need. If you need emergency care, dial 9-1-1 and wait for authorities to arrive.
Tell your employer. As soon as possible, reach out to your employer so that the incident where you were burned can be documented. Make sure that you ask for an injury report.
Visit a workers’ compensation attorney. Before signing anything, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you ensure that you maximize all of the benefits you are legally entitled to.
Have You or a Loved One Been Burned at Work?
If you or someone you love has been burned at work, we can advocate for you and ensure you recover the compensation you are entitled to while you focus on recovery. The Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates have significant experience helping people like you. Begin by contacting us today to schedule a free consultation.