Workplace Accident attorney and OSHA safety violation lawyer reviewing industrial burn injury cases for workers and plaintiffs nationwide
Workplace exposure to volatile chemicals, electrical currents, extreme heat and explosive materials place many American workers at an industrial risk, where burn injuries can occur and cause serious and permanent damage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 16,000 industrial injuries due to thermal burns were reported during 2013.
Hundreds of workers die each year as a result of injuries sustained in an industrial burn injury accidents, fires and workplace explosions. Millions of individual burn incidents occur in work environments each yea, most minor, but others which require hospital visits, and they can be deadly. Many industrial burn injury accidents are the result of the following:
Joe Lyon is an experienced workplace injury attorney and OSHA safety violation lawyer accepting industrial burn injury cases nationwide.
Types of Industrial Burn Injury
Workers that suffer from severe burns in work-related accidents usually come into contact with hot steam, open flames, open electrical currents, caustic chemicals or other heated industrial materials or machinery. Common types of industrial burn injury include:
- Thermal Burns—caused by steam or hot liquid from machinery, equipment, vehicles or piping.
- Electrical Burns—caused by electrical currents traveling through the body, resulting in burn injuries. Workers and employers are urged to identify and mark live wires, and to avoid contact with water while working with electrical currents. Protective equipment should be provided, per OSHA safety standards.
- Chemical Burns—caused by contact with hazardous industrial chemicals. Chemical splashes and spills can lead to serious industrial chemical burns to workers. Inhalation injuries are also a risk, causing burns to workers nasal passages, throat and esophagus.
Severity of Industrial Burn Injury
- First-degree burns cause some skin damage but only affect the top layer of the skin.
- Second-degree burns extends beyond the top layer of skin and can cause blistering and pain.
- Third-degree burns affect the epidermis and the dermis, as well as underlying tissue.
- Fourth-degree burns can affect muscle, tendons and bone. The burns may require amputation.
Employer Negligence & Workplace Accidents
If workplace explosions and industrial burn injury accidents are the result of improper safety or ineffective training, an employer may be liable for the injury and damages caused. Occupations and professions at particular risk may include the following:
Chemical Plant Explosions
Employees of chemical plants face a number of workplace hazards on a daily basis, including fire and explosion risks as well as toxic exposure hazards. Volatile chemicals are used in many industries and burn injury cases are relatively common when chemicals are mishandled or employers fail to provide a safe workplace.
Most chemical burn injury accidents and chemical plant explosions are preventable and due to human error, negligent management or careless behavior. Chemical plant explosions and plant fires can be caused by the following:
- Faulty electrical and wiring
- Old equipment
- Overheated equipment and machinery
- Poor safety regulations
- Inadequate employee training
- Poor chemical storage practices
If a company fails to maintain machines and materials, combustible materials can ignite, and lead to an industrial accident. Chemical plant accidents can cause numerous injuries, including:
- Severe Burns
- Lung Injury
- Eye Injury
- Head Injury
- Throat Injury
Arc Flash Injury
Electrical work is among the most dangerous, according to OSHA. Arc flash explosions claim hundreds of lives each year. Studies indicate that up to 80 percent of all electrical injuries are due to external burn injuries created by the intense heat of an electrical arc explosion.
Switching, racking, grounding, inspecting and cleaning energized equipment can all present an arc flash accident or shock hazard. Many electrical injury reports include the following safety violations:
- Workers were not provided with adequate personal protection equipment
- Workers were assigned electrical tasks that they were not trained to deal with
- Poor job planning and a lack of electrical safety discussion
- Approximately a quarter of subjects reported that the workplaces had a poor safety environment
Industrial Burn Lawsuits
Employers have a responsibility by law to provide a safe work environment. Safety training is a crucial part of bun injury prevention. Hazard communication, and proper signage in workplace is also important. Color codes and warnings can be the difference between a safe and unsafe workplace.