How to Properly Deal with Minor, Severe, and Electrical or Chemical Burns in the Workplace

burn treatment

Burns happen often – they are very common and since we spend a lot of time in the workplace, it’s not unusual for the said burns to be a result of a workplace accident. They don’t always happen due to contact with a hot object, hot liquid, or other source of heat. Burns can also be caused by exposure to very cold surfaces or contact with electricity, chemical products, or friction. Though burn injuries are common, too few people know how to handle the situation and do the correct thing when a burn injury occurs. Here’s how to properly deal with minor, severe, and electrical or chemical burns in the workplace.

Burns due to heat

For common burns due to a heat source:

  • Remove the person from the source of heat.
  • Never remove any embedded or melted clothing or other materials
  • Run cool (but not cold) water over the burn
  • Seek medical attention immediately

Severe burns

If the burn is immediately recognised as severe in nature,

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Reassure the victim – do not leave the victim and watch out for shock symptoms

Chemical or electrical burns

Chemical or electrical burns are more dangerous as they should not be treated like burns that are caused by a heat source. Do the following:

  • Immediately remove any dry chemicals from the person – use appropriate gear
  • Remove a person’s clothes and jewellery and place the person in a cool shower
  • Minor electrical burns can be treated with a cold compress. Never use ice. It is also recommended that a tetanus shot is given, especially if the person hasn’t had one in ten years or more.

Following protocol

Your employer has the duty to ensure your safety in the workplace – negligence or the improper following of procedure may mean your employer is legally liable. Make sure you have the accident recorded in the accident book. Gather all evidence and documentation, including the incident report, photos, witnesses, and so on. Seek medical and legal advice immediately.

Taking steps to immediately secure medical attention, and then following the correct procedure for recording the incident are only two of the steps that are required. In order to claim proper burn injury compensation, it’s always advisable to seek the professional help of a solicitor who specialises in burns compensation claims. He or she will be able to advise you on what evidence and documentation to acquire, and on what you can expect during the process. The solicitor will also be able to tell you how much you can realistically expect to receive as compensation. If you’ve ever been a victim of a burn injury at the workplace, it’s your right to seek compensation and receive what is rightfully yours.


Image attributed to m_bartosch/

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