Were you exposed to electricity, chemicals, or heat in the workplace that resulted in a burn or scalding?
If so, then in New Jersey, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Over 5,000 employees are burned on job sites, offices, and other workplaces each year. In fact, of the many people who suffer burns in the United States each year, 8% of those individuals are burned at work. Employees who work with heat, electrical sources, and heavy machinery are most likely to suffer burns at work.
While the severity of each burn varies, many of these injuries require medical attention and time off work. A serious, second or third degree, burn can require months to fully heal. Some burns have life long consequences, and each year 200 employees tragically die due to a burn accident or injury at work.
Signs, Symptoms, and Effects of a Burn Injury
Of course, when an individual is burned at work there is the pain and suffering related to the burn itself. However, burn injuries can cause other complications and long-term effects for an employee. Some of these negative consequences include:
- Welts and blistering
- Damage to internal organs
- Chronically dry skin
- Damage to sweat glands causing inability to sweat
- Discoloration or variation in skin tone
- Nerve damage causing decreased sensitivity to temperature or touch
- Damage to sebaceous glands causing inability to moisturize, and
- Mental trauma.
At the onset and throughout the healing process burns can be incredibly painful. The recovery period can be lengthy. However, through workers’ compensation the ramifications and medical costs associated with all of these consequences of a burn are covered in New Jersey. While this doesn’t provide physical relief to an employee from the pain, it ensures the individual is able to seek the appropriate recovery for as long as needed.
What Causes Burns in the Workplace?
Employers are obligated to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This means implementing specific procedures when flammable or combustible materials are utilized and processes for dealing with electricity or heat that can result in burns or scalding. Training is also integral to a safe environment.
However, as the statistics show employees are still burned at work. Whether that burn occurs because an employee does or does not follow proper procedures and processes is irrelevant to a determination of workers’ compensation. What are the most likely causes of burn injuries at work?
- Chemical burns from corrosive or caustic materials used in plants or laboratories, for example
- Electrical burns from electric current through the body due to malfunction of a machine, damaged cord, or overloaded outlet
- Thermal burns from contact with a hot piece of equipment, liquid, explosion, or steam
- Radiological burns from exposure to any of the three types of radiation, alpha, beta, or gamma
Recovering Costs Related to a Burn
Every burn is different, and this can raise a lot of questions regarding availability of workers’ compensation and the amount of benefits provided. To learn more about a specific burn injury and claiming workers’ compensation in New Jersey, it is valuable to consult a qualified lawyer. The Law Offices of Albert J. Talone, LLC provide a free, initial consultation. Call our office directly at (856)–234–4023.