Preventing Workplace Burn Injuries
Burn injuries that occur in the workplace are especially problematic because they often require long-term and extensive treatment, which may mean missing a significant amount of work. The following article will discuss some of the most common burn injuries that occur within the workplace and will also provide some valuable tips for Illinois employers to help prevent these injuries.
What are some types of workplace burns?
There are a few types of burns that can occur in the workplace, which include:
- Thermal burns: Thermal burns are caused by extremely hot liquids, open flames, hot objects, and explosions.
- Chemical burns: Chemical burns are caused when skin or eyes come into contact with strong acids (such as chemicals in laboratories) or other corrosive materials (such as industrial cleaners) in the workplace.
- Electrical burns: Electrical burns are caused when an electric current travels through the body and meets resistance in tissue. This often occurs when an employee enters a high-voltage area or uses machinery that is not clearly marked as possessing a risk of electric shock.
- Sun exposure burns: Sun exposure burns occur when employees who work under the sun are consistently exposed to the sun’s rays without any protective material or equipment. This constant exposure can be deadly, as it could result in the development of skin cancer.
When should I seek medical attention for a burn I suffered in the workplace?
There are a few instances where you should immediately seek medical attention after suffering a burn injury in the workplace, which include the following:
- The burn involves the face, hands, feet, fingers, or genitals
- The burn is on or near a joint (i.e. knee, shoulder, or hip)
- The burn encircles a body part (i.e. arm, leg, foot, chest, or finger)
- The burn is larger than three inches in diameter or appears to penetrate deeper than the top layer of skin
- There are signs of infection (i.e. redness, pain, pus-like discharge, or a temperature of over 100.4)
What can employers do to prevent workplace burn injuries?
There are a few ways that employers can prevent workplace burn injuries, which include the following:
1. Provide initial training.
In order to prevent the occurrence of workplace burn injuries, employees should ensure that all prospective employees receive initial training regarding the types of hazards that the employee might encounter in the workplace. This type of training should also provide an overview of OSHA standards and inform employees about how to report potential hazards that are not being properly addressed.
2. Ensure employees receive refresher training.
It is not enough to simply provide initial training to minimize workplace accidents; employees should also regularly receive updated training information to ensure that they are well-versed on any changes that may be essential for maintaining their safety in the workplace.
3. Make sure that hazards are properly communicated throughout the workplace.
Potential hazards should be communicated to all employees with the use of color codes, posters, labels, signs, etc. This is crucial, as it should help employees readily identify potential hazards and remind them to stay away from these hazards or to use extreme caution in handling them.
Did You Suffer a Burn Injury at Work? Speak to a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney
If you suffered a burn injury at work, Connolly Injury Law wants to make sure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys for help with your case.