Workplace Burns: A Guide for Employees

One of the worst injuries you can experience in the workplace is burns. According to the American Burn Association, nearly 100,000 people each year in the US are hospitalized for burn injuries, and a large proportion of those injuries are work-related. When injured in this way at work, you are eligible for worker’s compensation. However, for-profit insurance companies will look for ways to deny coverage and avoid paying out to your legitimate claims. That’s why we want you to be fully aware of what impact burn injuries can have and what steps to take to ensure you get the coverage you deserve.

When it comes to burn injuries, they can all cause pain and damage to your skin, but depending on how deeply it has penetrated your skin, there are three severity levels:

  • 1st-degree burns: This minor burn affects only the outer layer of the skin. It may cause redness and pain.
  • 2nd-degree burns: This type of burn affects the outer and second layers of skin. It may cause swelling and red, white, or splotchy skin. Blisters may develop and can cause severe pain. Deep second-degree burns can cause scarring.
  • 3rd-degree: This burn reaches the fat layer beneath the skin. Burned areas may be black, brown, or white and can cause the skin to look leathery. Third-degree burns can destroy nerves, causing numbness.

Depending on the severity of your burn, you may have severe medical costs and lifelong effects from your accident. Scars, skin contraction, and nerve damage are just small examples of the type of permanent physical damage your body can have, in addition to the financial and psychological strain that can occur. The loss of time at work, inability to continue working, extended hospital stays, and physical therapy sessions can all take a toll on your mental and financial health,

In South Carolina, we’ve seen growth in the manufacturing industry, from the BMW plants to the machining industries, which has led to an increase in jobs where severe burn injuries can occur. Manufacturing workers, electricians, and construction workers are all careers where the risk of a severe burn is extremely high. The potential causes in these fields can be from handling hot machinery, chemical burns, or electrical injuries. 

Whether you work in one of these at-risk fields or not, when you suffer a burn injury, there are various steps you should take to protect yourself from further harm. 

  1. Put the affected area under cold water for at least 5 minutes and protect the burned area by lightly applying sterile gauze.  
  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention. Even seemingly minor burns can be serious and should be looked at by a medical professional. 
  1. Report the Injury to your Employer or your Supervisor
  1. Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

While workers’ compensation is designed to support injured workers, navigating the claims process can be challenging. Even though worker’s compensation is required for employers with over four or more employees, employers and insurance companies may dispute the severity of your injuries or the extent of their liability. In such cases, having legal representation can make a significant difference. An experienced attorney can advocate on your behalf, gather evidence to support your claim, and help you appeal denied benefits.

If you’ve suffered a burn injury at work and need assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, don’t hesitate to contact Smith & Beckey Injury Lawyers. Our team has years of experience handling personal injury cases and is here to help you navigate the claims process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

If you’re injured, you may be entitled to compensation.

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