Burn injury hazards exist in many workplaces in Florida, and the lack of adequate safety training puts many workers at risk. Thousands of injured workers file workers’ compensation benefit claims every year, of which a significant percentage involve burns. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees, and their responsibilities include providing adequate safety training and the necessary personal protective equipment.

Burns are classified as thermal, chemical and electrical, and all of them can cause life-changing injuries or worse. Thermal burn injuries are caused by contact with hot liquids, hot surfaces, fire and explosions. Wearing the appropriate personal protective gear can prevent thermal burns, and placing guards over hot pipes or other heat sources could prevent contact with hot surfaces. Chemicals with a strong acid, caustic, corrosive or alkaloid content can cause chemical burns — typically when it comes into contact with workers’ skin or eyes. Safety authorities recommend substitution with less toxic chemicals, wearing gloves and eye protection, and the availability of eye wash stations and emergency showers.

Electrical shocks can cause burns — both internal and external. With internal burns, there will also be external burn marks at the entry and exit points of the electrical current that went through the body. Workers must avoid activities near overhead or underground power lines, and also wet or moist environments. Tools and equipment must be properly maintained and inspected for insulation defects and damaged cords, and proper lockout/tagout protocols must be followed before repairing or cleaning electrical equipment.

Victims of burn injuries in the Florida workforce might be entitled to seek financial assistance through the workers’ compensation insurance program. Benefits typically cover medical expenses and lost wages, and those whose injuries caused permanent disabilities might be awarded additional benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance in pursuit of maximum benefits.