The Main Facts You should Remember if You’ve had a Burn Injury in the Workplace


Burns happen more often than we realise – in fact, often they go unreported or underestimated and the true consequences are only felt when it’s too late to act. Burns are not only caused by hot surfaces, but are often a result of electrical mishaps (short-circuits, electrocution), friction (road accidents or recurring movement), chemicals, or even very cold surfaces. It’s important that the burns are recognised and recorded immediately, so legal liability can be established right away. If you have ever been a victim of a burn in the workplace, you have certain rights, after all. Here are the main facts you should remember if you’ve had a burn injury in the workplace.

Common accidents

Although different workplaces offer and present different risks, factory workers or employees that are confronted with dangerous chemicals or electrical works (such as in workshops or laboratories) are usually at a higher degree of risk. Following is a short list of common accidents:

  • Workplace fires – due to heat sources, chemicals, or electrical faults
  • Electrical burns
  • Inhalation of toxic fumes resulting in the burning of lungs and other parts of the body
  • Contact with hot machinery
  • Thermal burns using extremely hot or extremely cold equipment and tools
  • Radiation

The effects of the incident

The effects are not just a matter of immediate pain and suffering to the victim – they also result in consequences often unforeseen. Here’s a short list:

  • Burns can lead to infections that affect other parts of the body
  • Burns can lead to permanent disfigurement
  • Burns can lead to severe damage to the skin and nerves
  • Burns can lead to long-lasting emotional and psychological suffering

What you can do

That the injury happens is bad enough, but it’s important you take the correct steps immediately:

  • Immediately report the incident and the burn
  • Immediately seek medical advice and treatment
  • Obtain evidence in the form of reports, photographs, etc, of the burns and the circumstances
  • Record the names of witnesses and other information that help you establish the facts
  • Keep track of any expenses incurred

Don’t forget that the compensation for burns at work you may have right to is not only measured in harm caused physically (medically) or psychologically (or emotionally). Those are the kind of measurements that are difficult to judge and quantify. However, you should keep a list of all expenses you incur due to the injury (this includes extra needs for transportation, medicine, loss of work, loss of vacation, and so on) – these kind of financial issues are much easier to calculate and should be recorded meticulously. If ever you have been a victim, never hesitate. Keep accurate records and make sure you seek legal advice to claim compensation.

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