A workplace burn injury can be catastrophic. Statistics vary by source, but as many as 10 to 45 percent of all serious burn injuries occur in the workplace, according to a 2011 study published in the Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters journal. 

What are some common ways workers sustain on-the-job burns?

Each industry, occupation, and job position has its own hazards that can cause burn injuries. Some workers, such as firefighters and chemical plant employees, are obviously at a higher risk for burns than those in other fields. But in reality, burn injuries can occur at any workplace. Factory workers might have to work with machinery that can cause fires, lab workers might work with chemicals that can ignite, and delivery drivers might be involved in fiery auto accidents.

The aforementioned study’s authors concluded that the four most common types of work-related burn injuries were grease scalds, thermal, chemical, and electrical burns. Of all the work injury burn cases the researchers analyzed, the following industries accounted for the majority of them.

  • Industrial plants (29 percent)
  • Food preparation (15 percent)
  • Electrical companies and stores (15 percent)
  • Automotive service shops or involvement in a motor vehicle accident (13 percent)

What types of burn injuries do people sustain on the job?

People can sustain all types of burns at work from explosion burns to electrical burns, and the severity of the burns can range from minor to fatal. Roughly 70 percent of all burn cases on-the-job cause injuries that are severe enough to cause significant lost worktime, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of the burns are on the face, trunk, and upper extremities, which can lead to scarring, disfigurement, and associated emotional damages.

Employees who sustain burn injuries at work should seek immediate medical attention and treatment. The doctors will characterize and treat the burn according to its severity – first-, second-, third-, or fourth-degree.

How do employees pay for their burn injury expenses?

When an employee sustains a burn injury at work, he may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits no matter who was at fault for the incident. These benefits may cover medical expenses, as well as lost wages while the victim is recovering.

Above and beyond workers’ compensation, injured employees may be entitled to receive additional compensation depending upon the nature and cause of the accident. If a third party’s negligence was a factor, such as if the injuries stemmed from a defective silo explosion or an elevator component short, a personal injury claim might be in order.

A personal injury claim may allow you to recover more compensation than a workers’ compensation claim, which is limited based on your state’s laws. Burns can cause medical bills from extensive hospitalization or surgery; missed time at work while recovering; lost ability to work due to disability; and other financial effects. A personal injury claim lets you seek the full value of your damages.

Our lawyer referral specialists can help you find a lawyer in your area who can answer your questions and help you file a workers’ compensation claim and/or personal injury claim. Call 844-549-8774.