Burn Injuries At Construction Sites
Burn injuries from construction sites are frequently caused by working conditions that were unsafe and that could have been avoided by ensuring a safe workplace was maintained. Workers in Minnesota who suffer burn injuries while on the job have the right to recover from parties whose negligence caused their injuries. Workers are not able to directly sue their employer workers’ compensation but are able to bring claims against third parties, like a general contractor or another subcontractor that is doing work on the construction site. It is essential for injured workers to get professional legal guidance in order to determine whether nor they are entitled to receive compensation from third parties.
Quite often construction workers are faced with exposure to hazards that might result in fire, explosion, steam burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns. Common burn injury causes include unsafe welding practices, live electrical wires, defective fuel tanks or lines, and failing to take appropriate safety precautions when working with dangerous chemicals.
The most common kind of burn injury are thermal injuries and include injuries from scalding pipes, flammable materials, fire, scalding water, steam and various types of heat-producing machinery and equipment. Workers who are exposed to fire frequently sustain smoke inhalation injuries. These are potentially even more dangerous than the actual burn.
Some of the most severe construction site burn injuries that occur are suffered in electrical accidents. It is reported by the US Department of Labor that the most common type of electrical shock-related injury is burn injuries. Burns that are sustained in an electrical incident might involve tissue damage that is caused by the heat that is generated by the electric current flow throughout the body, or the high temperatures close to the body that is produced by an explosion or electric arc. Thermal contact burns are sustained whenever skin comes into contact with clothing that is on fire due to an electrical incident or overheated electrical equipment.
Chemical burns are not as common as some of the other kinds of burns that we are discussing in this article, but they can be quite serious. Chemical burns occur whenever the skin comes in contact with certain alkaloids, acids, and other types of caustic chemicals on the worksite. There are often dangerous chemicals on worksites, including glues, solvents, paint thinner, paint, wet cement, cleaning supplies, and other types of substances. Chemical burns are different from electric and thermal burns in that the reaction of the worker to the substance does not always happen immediately, and could be delayed instead.
Mandatory safety rules have been imposed by the Department of Labor and Industries which are designed to protect construction workers against burn injuries. In welding, for example, the object being welded is required to be moved away from any fire hazard, or any movable fire hazard is required to be removed from the work area. Shields are also required for welding work to confine slag, sparks, and heart and to protect any immovable fire hazards in the area. There are also rules governing hazardous and toxic substances and allowed chemical exposure is limited, to reduce the risk of sustaining chemical burns.
Explosion and Burn Injuries at Construction Sites
In addition to the injuries that we tend to think of when considering construction workers at unsafe work sites, such as being hit by object or falling, there are other potential fatal and more dangerous kinds of construction accidents that are not as well-known but can be just as serious – explosions and burns. Although these accidents sometimes cause minor injuries that just need short-term medical treatment, they can also sometimes result in life-altering, catastrophic disabilities where workers cannot continue to work and support their families.
Following a serious burn or for people who must deal with the devastation caused by a workplace explosion, the medical costs, financial strain, and emotional anguish can be overwhelming. Often those injuries are the result of the carelessness or negligence of another party. This party needs to be held responsible to pay for the pain and suffering that their actions have caused to you and your entire family.
Causes of some Of The Most Common Types Of Construction Site Burns
Not all burns sustained at construction sites begin with fire. Burns often result from water that is overly heater or faulty wiring or other liquids that might cause electrocution.
Our law firm has seen several burn sources for construction workers, including the following:
Hot water burns: This type of burn happens whenever construction site workers are exposed to high-temperature water. These burns may result in pain, redness, or deep skin layers may be damaged.
Steaming burns: Those burns take place whenever vaporized water is encountered by construction site workers. For steam to form, it is required for water to reach a temperature higher than 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Almost any parts of the body can be injured by hot steam from the skin to the face and eyes.
Third-degree burns: This type of burn arises whenever skin is scarred and charred as a result of the body coming into contact with very hot substances, like exposed electrical currents, caustic chemicals, and fire. Third-degree can cause serious pain and can take a long time to heal.
Important Things You Need To Know About Explosions In The Workplace
Explosions, like burns, might arise due to the carelessness or negligence of another party. A manufacturer, for example, might be responsible for their construction equipment being defect that can cause a worker to be injured in an explosion. Employers can be liable for employee injuries from an explosion due to the employer failing to service or maintain equipment properly.
Electrical wiring and gas leaks are common worksite explosion causes. Defective equipment and products may cause an explosion. Flammable materials and chemicals may also lead to an explosion.
What To Do Following An Explosion Or Burn
If you have have been injured in a workplace explosion or bun, you should seek medical treatment immediately. If you cannot treat yourself, then you should notify staff or other workers that you are injured and that you are in need of urgent care.
After your treatment is completed, you should start the process of figuring out what occurred at the construction site to cause the accident, including:
Taking videos or photos of the accident scene
Taking down the phone numbers and names of any witnesses of the accident or those who helped to treat your injuries
Write down information on potentially defective equipment that was nearby or you were using when the accident occurred
Contact an experienced injury attorney to help you determine whether or not you can recover money for your injuries and damages
If you cannot collect this information due to how severe your injuries are, or if you need help collecting this data for a loved one who has died, then it is even more important for you to consult with a burn injury lawyer to find out what legal right you and family members might have as you move forward.