According to the American Burn Association, approximately 486,000 burn injuries requiring medical care occur every year in the United States. Many of these injuries happen at work. Construction workers have a considerable risk of being burned because of the machinery they utilize and the hazardous materials they encounter on the job.
Here are the most common types of burns that happen in the construction industry.
Construction workers risk contact with electricity from a wide range of sources, including electrical devices, lightning, currents on the jobsite, and power lines. The severity, treatment, and prognosis for electrical burns vary based on the voltage involved. More severe electrical burns can damage the blood vessels, nerves, muscles, and organs beneath the skin.
When contact with electricity occurs on the construction site, bystanders should turn off the electrical source if possible. Next, begin CPR if the person does not have a pulse or is not breathing. However, never touch someone if they are still in contact with the current. Call 911 immediately for serious emergencies.
Thermal burns are among the most common burn injuries that occur in the United States, accounting for 450,000 of medical clinic and hospital visits every year. They are caused by exposure to excessive heat, including contact with steam, flames, and hot liquids. Most thermal burns are relatively minor and require pain management and wound care at outpatient centers or hospitals. Only a small percentage of these injuries are treated in specialized burn centers.
When a thermal burn happens, the first priority is to control and stop the burning process. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and fire detection and action plans are ways to prevent thermal burns on construction sites.
Construction workers who work with corrosive or causing materials on the jobsite risk serious chemical burns. Exposure to industrial cleaners and manufacturing and laboratory chemicals, in particular, can cause these types of workplace injuries. These substances literally eat away at the skin and damage the tissue underneath.
Hazard communication training to educate and alert workers to the risks of certain materials is essential. Every workplace should have protocols in place to safely store, transport, and use these chemicals to protect workers from painful and debilitating chemical burns.
Construction workers who suffer serious burns on the job may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation or have cause to bring a personal injury claim against a negligent third party. After seeking the proper medical care for your injuries, contact a lawyer for guidance.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Fight on Behalf of Injured Workers
If you have been injured on the job and need help with your claim, speak with one of our experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us today at (302) 427-9500 or contact us online to learn more and to schedule a free consultation. We have offices located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, and Lewes, Delaware. With offices in all three counties of Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state.