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Burn Injuries and Workers’ Compensation

Casey Woodruff

undefinedWe often hear about injuries that lead to workers’ compensation claims in Aurora, such as a serious fall or being struck by an object.  These workplace injuries do happen with some frequency, but there are other serious accidents at work that can also result in a successful workers’ compensation claim. Today we would like to talk about the prevalence of workplace-related burn injuries and the importance of filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Learning More About Workplace-Related Burns

According to an article in the Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters, published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, “the key element of a safe workplace for employees is the maintenance of fire safety.” However, work-related burns, including thermal burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns happen on the job more frequently than you might think. Indeed, according to the article, the following statistics make clear the prevalence of workplace-related burn injuries:

  • About 15 percent of all adult burn injuries are workplace-related burns (around 384 each year);
  • Average age of patients admitted to the hospital with workplace-related burn injuries is 37 years old;
  • Most patients with workplace-related burn injuries are male (approximately 90 percent); and
  • Only about 1 percent of patients suffer fatal workplace-related burn injuries, but the average hospital stay is greater than five days.

When a workplace-related burn injury requires an employee to stay in the hospital for a number of days (and often to have numerous follow-up medical visits), that employee may not be able to return to work.  Even if a worker with a burn injury can go back to his or her job shortly after the accident, the injuries may prevent that employee from fully performing all of the functions of the job. In such a case, the employee may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim and should speak with an experienced Aurora workers’ compensation lawyer.

Preventing Burns at Work 

We know that workplace-related burn injuries can be severe and can result in the inability to work. But what can employers do to prevent these accidents from happening? According to a safety checklist provided by the Workers’ Compensation Fund, prevention methods depend upon the type of burn accident. In general, however, both employers and employees can help to limit the risk of a serious workplace-related burn by considering the following safety precautions:

  • Reducing or limiting exposure to heat sources;
  • Eliminating debris from work areas with sparks or open flames;
  • Wearing flame-resistant clothing, or clothing appropriate for chemical or electrical work;
  • Storing and handling chemicals according to the manufacturer’s instruction;
  • Reading chemical labels thoroughly;
  • Knowing the location of the closest first aid station;
  • Knowing precautions for avoiding a chemical burn;
  • Knowing the electrical sources at the workplace; and
  • Marking power lines properly.

The Workers’ Compensation Fund also emphasizes the importance of training. By training employees in burn prevention and exposure, employers can help to reduce the likelihood of a serious workplace-related burn.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Aurora 

If you have questions or concerns about filing a workers’ compensation claim after suffering a burn injury during the course of employment, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Aurora can assist you. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans today to discuss your case.

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