If you are one of the 500+ workers who suffer burns on the job each year, the severity of your burn dictates how your recovery and future career options may play out. According to statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 8% of burn injuries happen at work.
Some first-degree burns are so mild they are a mere annoyance in the middle of a busy workday. But workers who suffer serious second-degree or third-degree burns could experience a difficult recovery.
What types of burns are most common?
There are three types of burns most often seen in the workplace — heat (thermal), chemical and electrical. Burns from a heat source include explosions, open flame, steam, hot liquids and hot surfaces.
Electrical burns, which can be deadly, involve contact with a live electrical source that sends current through the body. Chemical burns happen when caustic substances spill or leak onto human skin surfaces.
Does your recovery include returning to work?
Burns can cause some of the most severe and psychologically devastating injuries suffered in the workplace. People can lose finger digits, hands or feet. Their faces can be permanently disfigured even after multiple plastic surgeries.
Workers recovering from disfiguring third-degree burns may never be able to return to their former jobs. In those situations, any Ohio workers’ compensation settlement they receive should reflect their loss of future earning power without significant re-training (if that is even possible).
Explore all your workers’ comp options
After suffering a workplace burn injury, learning all you can about the workers’ compensation process can help you determine whether to accept an offered settlement.