Burns at the workplace are more common than many think and in many instances may receive support from workers’ compensation. While many people might think of severe industrial burns that leave permanent scars and nerve damage, a barista suffering a scalding coffee burn may likewise qualify.
Basic knowledge of burn severity and best practices may help you react quickly. Documenting your injury correctly may help a workers’ compensation claim go smoother.
Types and severity of burns
Burns come in many forms, including:
- Thermal burns
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
While each may come from different sources, burns all involve tissue damage resulting from heat. The US sees around 40,000 hospitalizations due to burns and hospitalization frequently depends on the severity.
First-degree burns are the least serious, affect the outer layer of your skin and appear red and dry without blisters.
Second-degree burns frequently appear blistered and affect the epidermis and dermis layers of your skin.
Third-degree burns are the most serious, appear white and charred and require immediate hospital attention.
Care and reporting
You can treat first-degree burns with over-the-counter ointments and medicines. Second-degree burns need a 15-minute session under cool running water immediately. In any case, it is important to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible.
Severe burns often damage nerve endings, which may result in a lack of sensation. Deeper burns may have more drastic effects on the body. When recovering from a serious burn due to a workplace accident, it is important to learn all you can about your unique situation and how worker’s compensation factors into it.