Workers get burned by a wide range of occupational hazards, in an even wider range of potentially hazardous work environments. Whether it came from an active electrical line at a construction site, a chemical spill at a chemical plant, an oxyacetylene torch accident in a factory, or a furnace fire at a steel plant, they are all burn injuries.
However, it is possible to bring down the number of accidents that lead to occupational burn injuries with preventative measures. It all begins by gaining an increased awareness of occupational burn injuries which the various different types of workers are at risk of suffering at their respective workplaces.
When a worker is burned after coming into contact with an open flame, boiling water, hot oil, superheated steam, or a superheated surface, it’s called a thermal burn injury. From firefighters to factory workers, thermal burns are by far the most common types of occupations burn injuries. Heat resistant PPE is essential in each case, but the gear will differ in its coverage and heat resistance ratings, depending on the probable risks associated with each job.
Chemical burns are comparatively rare these days, but they still do occur at chemical plants and waste management facilities in particular. The burn injury is caused by the corrosive nature of the chemical(s) on organic matter, so it has nothing to do with heat. Heat resistant PPE will not be able to prevent any corrosive chemical from eating through, so the protective gear against chemical burns must be made especially to remain unreactive to the specific types of chemicals that the workers are likely to come in contact with.
Note that electrical burn injuries and electrocution injuries are not the same, but anyone who has been seriously injured or killed after being electrocuted is very likely to have suffered from severe electrical burn injuries as well. Victims receive their burn injuries from electrocution because electricity will always attempt to use anything it comes into contact with as a conductor between the source and the ground. Wearing electrically insulated PPE is essential to prevent both electrocution and the ensuing electrical burns.
Beyond Prevention: Seeking Compensation for Serious and Fatal Burn Injuries
Numerous workers across multiple industries receive occupational burn injuries every day in the United States, but only the ones that are either very serious or fatal get reported. While the victims of occupational burn injuries should be covered swiftly and adequately by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy, the real life experience of burn victims is not always as smooth as that, unfortunately.
For example, if you have been burned or injured in any other way at work, you may not be in a physical and mental state to go through the necessary paperwork and file the claim in time. In the case of fatal occupational injuries, family members of the deceased must be compensated adequately by the same workers’ compensation insurance policy, but they too must be able to file a competent claim in time. In case the concerned employer/insurer does not seem too invested in providing the victim or their family with the assistance they need to file a competent worker’s compensation claim, don’t hesitate about reaching out to us for legal help.
Even if you have successfully filed the claim in time, contact us at The Cassisi Law Firm for situations where the employer/insurer seems unresponsive, evasive, and/or unusually slow in processing that claim. If there is reason to believe that the compensation provided was insufficient, or that the fault of the incident lies with the employer, schedule an appointment with us now.
Call for a free consultation on (718) 441-5050.
Or visit us in person at 10208 101st Ave Ozone Park, NY 11416.