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Atlanta Burn Work Injuries in the Workplace

• Aug 22nd, 2013

Thousands of burn injuries occur each year in Atlanta from hazards in the workplace. They cause serious, often long-lasting effects. A burn causes painful tissue damage and sometimes scarring or disfigurement. About 5% of workplace burns lead to death.

Burns are classified in categories according to their severity; first-degree, second-degree and third-degree. They are also sometimes called superficial, partial thickness, and full thickness burns, respectively. When the burn involves injury to deeper tissues such as muscle or bone they are referred to as fourth-degree burns.

First-degree or superficial burns involve only the epidermis or outer layer of skin. They are painful but rarely produce long-term tissue damage. Second-degree or partial thickness burns affect the dense bottom portion of the epidermis called the dermis. They result in blistering and sometimes scarring. Third-degree or full thickness burns destroy the epidermis and cause damage all the way down to the hypodermis. The burn site will appear white or charred. Surgeries and skin grafts are likely in these cases.

Burn injuries are caused by either heat, electricity, chemicals, friction or radiation. Most frequently the causes of workplace burns are heat, electricity and chemicals. Heat burns are caused by flames, hot surfaces, scalding liquids or steam. Electrical burns occur as a result of electricity passing through the body. Most often tissues deeper underneath the skin are damaged but cannot be seen which causes electrical burns to be difficult to accurately diagnose. Chemical burns occur when living tissue is exposed to a corrosive product. Chemical burns need no source of heat and can be extremely painful.

Employers are required to provide a safe working environment. If you suffer a burn injury while at work you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you want to know if your injury is covered under Workers’ Compensation insurance it is a good idea to contact an attorney who can answer your questions about how to proceed.

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