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The Catastrophic Effects of Work-Related Burn Injuries

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Burn injuries are the second most common work-related injuries after fall accidents.

The Catastrophic Effects of Work-Related Burn Injuries

If we combine both on-the-job and off-the-job burn injuries that are reported every year, we are looking at a figure of over a million. Work-related burn injuries can have serious and long-term consequences for an injured worker and may leave him or her unable to go back to work for an extended period of time. Some serious burn injuries may even lead to permanent disability.

Work-Related Burn Injuries

According to statistics, every year almost 40,000 work-related burn injuries occur in the United States. Of these, more than 25 percent occur in construction site accidents. Irrespective of how minor or serious the burns are, every worker who suffers a burn injury must seek immediate medical attention. Remember, even first degree burns that affect just the outer layer of the skin can cause serious complications at a later stage. No burn injury should ever be ignored.

Categories of Work-Related Burn Injuries

Work-related burn injuries can be divided into three categories:

  • Thermal burns caused by exposure to heat.
  • Chemical burns caused by exposure to acidic chemicals.
  • Electrical burns caused by electrocution.

Types of Work-Related Burn Injuries

Our Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer explains that irrespective of how a burn injury occurs, the worker may be entitled to benefits under the workers’ compensation system. Work-related burn injuries can occur in a wide variety of settings including:

  • Fire fighters trying to put out a fire.
  • Inhalation of toxic fumes can cause lung or airway burns.
  • Electrical burns caused by fire in faulty wiring.
  • Scalding materials such as hot roofing tar can spill and cause burns.
  • Exposure to caustic chemicals, corrosives, and solvents can cause burns.
  • Stove fires and boiling water in restaurant settings.
  • Fires in refineries, warehouses, mills, and factories.
  • Construction site fires.
  • Radiation exposure that causes eye and skin burns.
  • Lack of fire fighting equipment in offices.
  • Chemical burns from acids and alkaloids in lab settings.
  • Contact with drain cleaners and rust removers.

Degrees of Burns

With regards to workers’ compensation, the depth of the burn injury would determine the amount of workers’ compensation benefits the worker would receive. The severity of a burn is measured in terms of degrees; the larger the number, the deeper and more serious is the burn. While a first-degree burn is the least serious and may only cause a superficial wound, a third-degree burn will cause a deep wound and is the most serious type of burn injury. With third-degree burns, a worker is often considered permanently disabled.

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Over the past two decades, Mr. Willens and his team of Chicago personal injury lawyers have been instrumental in obtaining numerous million-dollar-plus recoveries on behalf of clients in a wide variety of injury cases. One of the personal injury verdicts he was involved in was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the Top 100 Verdicts in the country in the year in which it was tried. One of the verdicts he helped secure set a state record.

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