Burn injuries are common in the workplace. Employees in various industries are routinely exposed to burn hazards including fire, electrical currents, and caustic chemicals. Fortunately, most burn injury victims in Pennsylvania are entitled to workers’ compensation, the amount and duration of which largely depends on the type and severity of the burns.
Workplaces Associated with High Risk of Burn Injuries
Workers in almost any industry may suffer burn injuries. However, according to a study by published in the journal Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters, workplaces with the highest number of burn injuries include:
- Manufacturing plants
- Restaurants/ food preparation
- Electric appliance companies
- Automotive service shops
- Roadways (those who drive for work involved in vehicle accidents)
- Construction sites
Types of Burns in the Workplace
Workers may suffer different types of burns depending on the types of burn hazards to which they are exposed on the job. There are three main types of burn injuries workers may suffer:
- Thermal burns – This type of burn is caused by hot objects or substances including fire, water, grease, motors, and tools.
- Chemical burns – Many chemicals used in the workplace can cause burns, such as solvents, lye, and other cleaning products.
- Electrical burns – Electricians and workers in the construction industry are at risk of being exposed to electrical currents and live wires.
Degrees of Burn Severity
A burn’s severity is measured according to the layer of skin it penetrates and the extent of the damage it causes. Burns are typically classified as one of three degrees:
- First degree burn – The least severe, this type of burn affects the skin’s top layer and typically heals within a few days.
- Second degree burn – These types of burns penetrate not only the outer layer (epidermis), but also the second layer of skin (dermis) and can take months to heal.
- Third degree burn – This is the most serious degree of burn – it penetrates the epidermis, dermis, and the third fat layer of skin, often destroying nerve endings and requiring extensive treatment and/or surgeries.
Compensation for Work-Related Burn Injuries
Pennsylvania workers who suffer work-related burn injuries may be eligible for compensation, including medical expense and wage loss benefits. Depending on the severity of the burn and the necessary medical treatment, workers may be eligible to collect:
- Disability – Workers may qualify for temporary partial/total or permanent partial/total disability, depending on the extent of their disability and whether they are able to return to work.
- Vocational rehabilitation – Those who are unable to return to the jobs they had prior to their injury may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services to help them return to work.
- Specific loss – Burns that result in facial or neck disfigurement may entitle workers to additional compensation in the form of specific loss benefits.
- Lifetime pension – Workers who are permanently and totally disabled due to their burn injuries may be able to obtain a lifetime pension under the state workers’ compensation system. Laws on this vary by state, therefore workers are advised to contact a qualified local attorney to discuss their case.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Burn Injury Victims Determine the Value of their Case
If you suffered a burn injury at work, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our knowledgeable attorneys can explain your legal options, estimate the value of your case, and help you obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW.
We proudly represent all types of workers in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County, as well as in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.