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What Are Common Types of Burn Injuries That Occur in the Workplace?

burn injuries

Burn injuries pose a significant threat to workers across different industries.  According to the CDC, about 1.1 million people suffer a burn injury each year, with about 15 percent of those people suffering burn injuries in a work-related accident.

Burn injuries are one of the most painful injuries to suffer, including a grueling recovery process.  With long-term care, extensive treatment, cosmetic surgery, and psychological counseling, a burn survivor faces piling medical bills and lost wages.  If you are a worker and face the potential hazard of a burn injury at your job, it is essential to understand the most common types and how to prevent them:

  • Thermal burns: Thermal burns are the most common type of burn injuries in the workplace. They result from contact with hot surfaces, liquids, steam, or flames. Industries such as manufacturing, construction, and food services are particularly susceptible to thermal burns. Welding, cooking, and handling hot machinery are examples of activities that can lead to thermal burns. Employers should implement proper safety protocols, provide protective equipment, and conduct regular training to minimize the risk of thermal burns.
  • Electrical burns: Electricity is essential in many workplaces but poses a significant risk of burn injuries. Electrical burns occur when a person comes into contact with live electrical currents. This can happen through faulty wiring, malfunctioning equipment, or inadequate electrical safety measures. Construction, maintenance, or any electrical system field employees must be trained to identify and address electrical hazards. Protective gear and regular equipment inspections are essential for preventing electrical burns.
  • Chemical burns: Certain industries, such as manufacturing, laboratories, and cleaning services, expose workers to various chemicals that can cause burns. Chemical burns occur when the skin comes into contact with corrosive substances, acids, or caustic materials. Employers must provide adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and goggles, and ensure employees are trained to handle and store chemicals safely. Emergency response plans should be in place to address chemical spills and accidents promptly.
  • Radiation burns: Workers in industries such as healthcare, nuclear power, and research may face the risk of radiation burns. Exposure to ionizing radiation can cause skin damage and burns. Employers in these fields should implement strict safety protocols, provide radiation shielding equipment, and ensure that employees receive proper training on the potential risks associated with their work. Regular monitoring of radiation levels and health check-ups for workers exposed to radiation are essential preventive measures.
  • Friction burns: Friction burns, also known as abrasion or road rash, can occur in workplaces where employees are exposed to abrasive surfaces or machinery. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, and automotive repair may see an increased risk of friction burns. Adequate safety measures, including using proper protective clothing, training on equipment operation, and maintaining a clean and organized work environment, can help prevent friction burns.

Burn injuries are also determined by severity:

  • First-degree burns: The least severe burns, but still quite painful, are first-degree burns. These types of burns damage the outer layer of skin and usually heal within a few days.  Sunburns are the most common.
  • Second-degree burns: These are when the first layer of skin is burned through, and the second layer is affected.
  • Third-degree burns: Third-degree burns are the most severe, where all layers of skin are affected and damaged, and may also cause damage to muscles, bones, and tendons.

Exton Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Advocate for Workers Suffering From Burn Injuries

If you have suffered a burn injury at work, you may be facing a long road to recovery, with numerous medical bills and time lost from work.  Our Exton workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC are here to help you with your claim.  Call 610-594-1600 or fill out our online form for a free consultation.  Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.