Workplace burns: Worse than it looks

Workplace burns: Worse than it looks

Burn injuries are common work-related injuries and can affect the hands, feet and eyes of workers. These injuries often occur in trade and service industries, on industrial and construction sites and farms.

Some of the ways that a burn injury can occur at work can be through working with heat, electricity and chemicals. Other sources include coming into contact with high voltage power sources, using angle grinders and welding apparatus, cooking with hot oils or fats, and spilling hot water.

It is important to note that burns may not always appear serious, and it is important to seek medical advice for any burns. If left untreated the risk of serious injury dramatically increases.

Chemical burns

The majority of chemical burns occur through use of products such as bleach, concrete mix, drain and metal cleaners, pool chlorinators, phosphorus (in fireworks and fertilisers) and petrol.

Chemical burns often cause very deep injuries, even when initial symptoms only include red and itchy skin. The severity of the injury will depend on the chemical, its concentration, how long it was in contact with the skin and initial treatment.

Incorrectly irrigating burns may cause the substance to run down and contaminate other body parts and, if medical treatment is not sought, might result in infection.

Electrical burns

An electrical burn occurs through contact with a voltage source. As electricity travels through muscles, nerves and blood vessels the injuries which can occur can include internal damage and even broken bones, fractures and dislocations from involuntarily contracting muscles. Even more serious injuries from electric shock can include head injuries and cardiac arrhythmia.

While some electrical accidents may result in superficial burns, some can cause serious harm, disability and even death.

If you or someone you know has suffered from a chemical or electrical burn in a work-related injury, we invite you to speak to one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988 to discuss your potential entitlements.

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