Thousands of burn injuries occur in the workplace each year. They’re unexpected, instant and often produce long-lasting damages.
Burns are painful and can produce scarring and disfigurement. Sometimes they’re not visible on the skin immediately, which leads to employers not receiving proper treatment.
Prior, Criner & Edwards Attorneys represent work injury cases involving chemical burns. It’s one of the most frequent types of burns caused at the workplace and must be taken seriously by both worker and employer. Chemical burns occur when soft tissue (eyelids, skin and organs) is exposed to corrosive substances, including acids, solvents, bases, oxidizers and thinning agents. They develop through direct contact or through inhalation. Some chemicals absorb into the skin and have noticeable effects while others don’t show signs of damage until minutes or hours later.
All burns are rated according to their severity:
- First Degree Burn: only damages the outer layer of skin. Though the least serious of burns, it can cause pain, redness and discomfort.
- Second Degree Burn: damages the outer and second layer of skin. Blisters and possible scarring can result on top of pain and redness.
- Third Degree Burn: can potentially destroy nerves and is extremely painful. Third degree burns sometimes produce waxy, white or leathery skin.
- Fourth Degree Burn: absorbed deep into the skin, causing nerve damage and charred muscles and bones. Fourth degree burns are often fatal.
In addition to burns, chemicals can also cause throat injuries, lung damage, and though not common, neurological injuries (brain damage).
If you suffer from a chemical burn or chemical exposure workplace accident, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You may also be qualified to file a lawsuit depending on where the chemical exposure came from and who controlled the job site where the accident occurred.
Report your exposure to your supervisor as soon as possible and get medical treatment. Then, contact our lawyers at Prior, Criner & Edwards Attorneys. We’ll make sure you’re not left with financial and long-term injury problems.