Following a burn injury, an employee may require many types of medical treatment that Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits will cover, including:
- skin graft surgery
- pain medication management
- cosmetic surgery
- physical therapy
Experienced attorneys, such as the Media, PA Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Lerner, Steinberg & Associates, can help you secure proper treatment from burn injury specialists. Our knowledgeable attorneys are aware that Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation law allows for the possibility of partial or total disability claims based on a burn injury anywhere on the body. A successful disability claim depends on thorough documentation of disabling symptoms such as lost range of motion, nerve damage, severe pain, reduced or painful movement, or any other effects of major burns.
Burns Injuries Can Lead to Head, Neck or Face Disfigurement
If a work-related accident results in burns that disfigure or scar you, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits for the disfigurement of your head or neck. You may be entitled to wage loss benefits if the disabling effects of second- or third-degree burns keep you from being able to work. The Media, PA Workers’ Compensation attorneys of Lerner, Steinberg & Associates have handled claims for many victims who were burned at work, and we will make clear to a Workers’ Compensation judge the impact on your life from facial scarring and disfigurement to maximize your compensation.
Visible scarring of the head, face or neck can result from job accidents such as chemical burns, electrical burns, explosions, lacerations or thermal burns from fire, hot metal or spilled fluids. In addition, surgery from a work-related injury can leave lasting and significant surgical scars. It doesn’t matter how the accident happened, and fault is not an issue in terms of coverage from Workers’ Compensation insurance in Pennsylvania. Just as with amputation, permanent scars warrant specific loss benefits.
Specific loss benefits for disfigurement, even if you don’t miss any work, are paid in addition to your regular paycheck in an amount based on the severity, and on what you would have received if you did suffer lost wages. It can be important to have legal counsel that is knowledgeable of how a judge decides on the severity of your disfigurement. You will need a Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation attorney who can submit evidence about your appearance before and after the accident, as well as testimony about the impact the injury has had on your personal life.
Burn accidents are a serious risk in many industries and often result in painful injuries and lengthy recovery periods and disability. When an employee is burned in a workplace accident, medical bills and lost wages can seriously impact their financial health and that of their family. A large majority of burn injuries can be prevented with proper safety training, procedures and enforcement. When an employee suffers from a burn injury, they should be covered by their employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance.
About Workplace Burn Injuries
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), burn injuries resulting from contact with an open flame are just one type of work accident that can result in serious damage. Electrical burns, chemical burns and burns from hot steam and liquids are commonly reported. In just one year, OSHA had 143 fatal incidents and 2,200 job-related burn accidents reported.
Electrical burns are some of the most damaging types of injuries reported. Coming into contact with a live electrical current sends a flow of extremely hot energy throughout the body, damaging tissues, muscle and organs. Electrical burns can also result from flashes or arcs of electrical current or from heat generated by an electric machine. A worker can be injured even when they haven’t come into contact with a live electrical current, but are standing or working close to the source of an electrical flash or arc. Clothing can also catch on fire and cause severe burns to the body.
The American Burn Association reports that deaths from electrocution at the workplace are frequently reported. Most adult electrocution fatalities result from workplace accidents. Burn injuries can also result from contact with toxic chemicals. The skin, eyes and even the respiratory tract can suffer burns when harsh chemicals are spilled, mishandled or inhaled. Acid and alkaloids are commonly used in many industries and can cause serious burns, but injuries can also come from basic chemical solutions such as gasoline and paint thinner.
Food service workers are particularly vulnerable to workplace burns from hot stoves, boiling liquids, steam and deep fryers. Workers between the ages of 16 and 21 account for the largest number of burn injuries suffered in the food service industry.
Federal child labor laws make it illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to work as a cook in a restaurant and a large majority of other food establishments. Because these teenage workers are often seasonal or temporary, they may not be properly trained, putting them at an even greater risk for burns.
Prevention is Key to Avoiding Burns Work
Recovery from a burn injury can take months or even years of surgery, physical therapy and cosmetic adjustments. A burn injury is one of the most painful injuries to experience. Exposed raw nerve endings, and deep tissue and muscle damage can be excruciating and require daily or frequent debriding procedures wherein dead skin is removed to allow new skin to grow. Infection is a frequent complication in recovering from a burn injury and can sometimes lead to amputation of limbs or fatal injury.
Most burn accidents can be prevented by following OSHA safety standards. Proper training is the key to avoiding workplace burns. Employers are required to provide a safe workplace, free from unnecessary hazards. Safety training on materials handling, protective gear and safety measures can prevent the majority of lifelong scars and disability that are caused by burns.
General fire safety procedures are also part of a safe work environment. Regular fire drills, posting fire escape routes throughout the building and educating workers in fire prevention and first aid response can mean the difference between life and death. Employers who fail to provide these safety measures to their employees can be held liable for these injuries. Anyone who suffers a burn injury at work is advised to contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer to ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive the compensation they are entitled to under the law.
Let Our Delaware County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Fight for You
One of the Workers’ Compensation attorney from Lerner, Steinberg & Associates can assess your claim, answer your questions, and explain the best strategy to protect your interests. We can also prepare an appeal if you have been issued an inadequate award. Call today for a free consultation at (215) 355-6400 or contact us online.