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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Can I Take Legal Action if I Suffer a Burn Injury in the Workplace?

January 22, 2021 in

The range of burn injuries that can occur in the workplace can range from mild to severe. While some workers are placed at risk for obtaining burns moreso than others, such as firefighters and electricians, unsafe premises can put workers spanning a wide range of careers at risk for suffering a burn injury. Here, the New York burn injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. discuss occupations that place workers most at risk for suffering a burn, the types and degrees of burns that workers can suffer in unsafe conditions, and how victims can file a claim for injuries sustained.


What Types of Occupations Put Workers Most at Risk of Obtaining Burn Injuries?


Firefighters, construction workers, food service workers, electricians and more are placed at a heightened risk for suffering burn injuries at the hands of negligence. Even in occupations where obtaining burns are already a significant risk, burns caused by someone else’s carelessness or within hazardous working conditions are often grounds for filing a lawsuit.



Firefighters are in close contact with flames every day, which makes them highly susceptible to suffering burns if improperly carrying out their duties, working in a dangerous environment or wearing and using defective uniforms, protection or equipment.


Construction Workers

Construction workers are using a wide range of equipment and machinery every day that can be very dangerous if mishandled. They also may be working with flammable chemicals and materials. Misuse of heating equipment, machinery and flammable materials may cause fires and burns, and working in unsafe premises can exacerbate this risk.


Food Service Workers

Food service workers are operating in kitchens that use cooking appliances to prepare food and heat liquids; food service workers are often cooking over open flames. Negligence in the kitchen can place cooks in highly dangerous scenarios that can lead to severe burns caused by close contact with flames and/or incredibly hot food, water and oil.



Electricians are most at risk for obtaining severe electrical shocks and burns if working within unsafe premises, using faulty or defective equipment or lacking proper protective gear. Electrical burns are less common than thermal burns but often the most damaging.


What Types of Burns Can Victims Sustain?


There are several types of burns that span different degrees of severity. While thermal burns caused by heat such as fire, boiling liquids or hot objects are well-known types of burns, chemical burns and electrical burns are great risks in several industries. Chemical burns can occur when an individual comes into contact with an acid or base that causes irritation, burns or tissue damage. 


Chemical burns within the workplace can be caused by negligent behavior or a lack of caution regarding the handling of a dangerous object. Individuals working in laboratories, construction sites, hospitals or manufacturing plants are typically most at risk for suffering a workplace burn. Electrical burns are the least common, but often the most detrimental, types of burns one can receive. Electrical burns can be a result of improperly using machinery or equipment that uses electricity and can cause irreparable damage to the internal organs and respiratory system.


Additional types of burns that can occur within health care are radiation burns, from misuse of x-ray machines or cancer therapy equipment, as well as hospital-related burns such as surgical equipment fires, misuse of heating pads or overexposure to harsh operating lights.


What are the Varying Degrees and Severity of Burns?


There are three main degrees of burn injuries: first, second and third-degree burns. 


First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns are considered to be the mildest form of burn that affects only the outermost layer of the skin, or the epidermis. Examples of first-degree burns include skin redness and irritation, swelling and mild blistering to the outer layer of skin after touching a hot object, coming into contact with hot water and even acquiring a sunburn. 


Second-Degree Burns

Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis and the dermis, the two outermost layers of skin, and require more treatment and care to heal than first-degree burns. The burn area often looks white, red or dark brown; may seep and blister; and feels painful and intense. Contact to fire, chemicals or boiling liquids like hot oil can cause second-degree burns.


Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are the most severe form of burn that affects the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, which is the third layer of skin. Third-degree burns are very serious and typically cause permanent damage to the affected area’s tissue. Third-degree burns can require skin grafts and appear stiff and leathery once healed. 


Can I Pursue a Claim for my Burn Injury?


If employers or worksite managers fail to provide their workers with adequate protective equipment, proper working machinery and a safe work environment, workers who suffer burns as a result may have grounds to file a premises liability claim. The New York burn injury attorneys at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. have recovered millions of dollars in damages for victims of burn injuries and can provide you a free consultation if you are a victim of a workplace burn injury. Call (212)-732-9000 today or contact us here:

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