When workers suffer serious burns on the job, these are some of the most traumatic workplace injuries that can be survived. The road back to physical health is long and grueling, punctuated by painful debridement and skin grafts.
But there is an invisible consequence to burn injuries that can take even longer to heal. The psychological trauma that stems from major burns can be lifelong and paralyzing to the sufferer.
Dealing with lingering trauma from a burn
Coping with the disfigurement that often accompanies workplace burns places an enormous psychological burden on the injured worker. This is particularly true when the burns occurred on the head, neck, face and upper extremities.
Below is a partial list of the distressful feelings with which they must learn to cope:
- Reliving the injury event
- Marked changes in appearance
- Survivor’s guilt if others perished
- Lingering pain
- Physical limitations
- Limited range of motion
- Financial stressors
- Affected personal relationships
- Increased dependence on others
- Inability to return to work
As one can imagine, trying to cope with the aftermath of a serious workplace burn can be devastating.
The injured worker is not the only one affected
After suffering a major burn, the patient may face disruptions in their relationships with others. Their spouses or partners may be ill-equipped to deal with the post-accident changes. Marriages and relationships may suffer and even fail.
The burn victim’s children, especially those who are very young, might even be afraid of their parent’ scarred features and withdraw from them. Losing the affection of family members is yet another blow the wounded worker must absorb.
Seeking compensation is your right after a workplace injury
If you suffered a serious burn on the job, filing for workers’ compensation benefits is the first step to take to seek financial restitution for all you have lost.