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Workplace Burn Injuries - Who is Responsible?


Injuries to four workers in an explosion were determined to be the result of failure to handle hazardous materials properly and failure to respond. The resulting inferno forced two of the workers to scale an 8-foot fence topped with barbed wire to escape certain death. An investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that Arboris LLC, in Newark, Ohio, did not have an emergency shut down system in place and violated process safety management procedures for the handling of hazardous materials.

The company was issued one willful safety violation as well as 35 serious and five other-than serious safety violations from OSHA on June 17, 2016 with proposed penalties more than $180,000.

Although workplace burn injuries account for 15% of all admissions to burn treatment centers, these injuries are typically more severe than residential burns due to their cause. 

Workers can suffer burns from explosives, chemicals, exposed heat sources, electrical wires and hot liquids.

National Burn Statistics

Research compiled by the American Burn Association between 2003 and 2004 revealed an average of 486,000 burns are treated annually including 250,000 children. 40,000 of burn victims require hospitization every year. Fire and smoke inhalation in homes, vehicles, workplaces and public places account for an average of 3,240 deaths. Another study by OSHA shows an average of 5000 serious workplace related burn injuries occur annually.

The Common Causes of Workplace Burn Injuries

Human error on the part of the victim is often the cause of a workplace burn injury, but a great many are caused by another's negligence or carelessness. When a burn injury occurs due to negligence of a third party, other than the employer, compensatory damages may be claimed for past and future medical bills, lost wages as well as pain and suffering. This third party could be a contractor, building owner of manager, an equipment manufacturer as examples. A worker's compensation claim should be filed immediately to recover all medical expenses and two thirds of lost income. If the injuries are severe it, is important to retain a worker's compensation attorney.

Workplace burn injuries may be caused by:

· Open flames, such as welding equipment, smelting or food preparation

· Hot liquids such as boiling water, hot oil, tar plastics, molten metal and hot processed food products

· Caustic chemicals such as acids and alkaline substances

· Explosions

· Exposed electrical wires

· Hot surfaces

· Flammable vapors and fumes

· Flammable airborne particulates

The Devastating Effects of Burn Injuries

If you have ever grabbed a hot pot handle or had a bad sunburn, you know how painful even a mild, first degree burn can be. Severe burns are excruciating and can cause disfigurement, lifelong debilitation as well as psychological and emotional trauma. A victim of severe burns can suffer from depression, anxiety and irritability long after recovering physically, Medical treatments for severe burns are costly and often long term, and may require skin grafting and plastic surgery.

If you or someone you love received a severe workplace burn injury, it is imperative for your long term well-being that you seek the counsel of an experienced workplace injury attorney. Worker's compensation will only cover your medical expenses and pay two thirds of your income. It will not usually pay for pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium and other problems you may face. IF you are not able to return to work you will need to have enough money to sustain you for a lifetime.

Vititoe Law Group has helped burn victims receive the compensation they deserve from injuries caused by negligence. Any third-party negligence will be discovered through a thorough investigation. The true value of your case could be many times greater than worker's compensation or disability will pay, but to recover that amount you need a highly-qualified injury attorney from Vititoe Law Group. Call today for a free consultation. Do not wait. As time goes on, uncovering evidence and locating witnesses can become increasingly difficult.

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