No one goes to work each shift thinking that will be the day when they suffer burns at work. But some type of burn injury is possible in nearly every occupation — especially manufacturing jobs.
All burns are harmful to the skin and its integrity. Chemical burns can create problems that are just as serious as those arising from thermal and steam burns.
What happens when you suffer burns at work?
Seek immediate treatment. Even if you don’t think a chemical burn is serious, seek medical attention right away. Some burns continue to damage the layers of tissue beneath the burn’s surface. Infections can set in as well if the wound isn’t properly cleaned and treated.
Establish your paper timeline
Reporting your chemical burn allows your treatment costs to be covered by the worker’s compensation program instead of using your own insurance or paying out-of-pocket.
There is another reason why you should not ignore what might seem initially like a mild burn. It could be far more serious, but with no direct correlation between your workplace accident and your treatment record, it can be argued that the injury happened elsewhere and was unrelated to your work duties. Something like that can call the veracity of your claim into question. That scenario can be quite problematic if you are trying to continue working even in a modified or limited way.
Your earning power is affected
All types of burns can have long recovery periods and total recovery is never a given after a crippling or disfiguring chemical burn. Suffering chemical burns while on the job can deprive workers of the ability to earn a living as they endure the painful healing process.
A safe workplace is your right
The American worker has a right to a safe workplace with safety precautions and protocols in place to prevent burns from and exposure to noxious chemicals. But even safe and well-monitored work environments have accidents occur.
Learning more about the workers’ compensation process can help you navigate the system and get approved for benefits.