Welding, Burn Injuries, and Workers’ Compensation
Welding is an important industry here in Tennessee, used in manufacturing, construction, automotive, aerospace, and shipbuilding. However, it is also a job that carries a significant risk of burn injuries. Welding is a process that involves the use of high temperatures to melt and fuse materials together. There are several types of welding techniques, including gas welding, arc welding, and resistance welding.
Because welders must work with hot metal, electrical equipment, and sometimes hazardous chemicals, severe burn injuries can occur from direct contact with hot metal or exposure to high temperatures. In addition to physical pain and suffering, burn injuries can result in lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses.
How welding can lead to severe burn injuries
Welding is a process that involves high temperatures to melt and fuse materials together. The welding process creates intense heat, sparks, and bright light that can cause serious burn injuries if employers and workers do not take proper safety precautions. Burn injuries are among the most common workplace injuries in welding, and can range from minor to severe. Welders who work with hot metal, electrical equipment, and sometimes hazardous chemicals are at risk of burns from direct contact with hot metal or exposure to high temperatures.
Severe burn injuries can be life-threatening as well as cause long-term consequences. Serious burns can lead to disfigurement, nerve damage, and scarring, which can cause long-term physical pain and emotional trauma. In addition, burn injuries can result in infections and other complications, which can further hinder the healing process. Burns can also lead to lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses, placing a significant financial burden on injured workers and their families.
There are several factors that can increase the risk of burn injuries in welding, including:
- Inadequate PPE
- Poor ventilation
- Lack of training
Welders must be provided appropriate PPE, including gloves, aprons, jackets, and helmets with face shields, to protect themselves from direct contact with hot metal and sparks. Welders must also receive adequate training on the proper use of PPE and other safety procedures to prevent burn injuries. Employers must offer workers a safe working environment, including implementing engineering controls such as ventilation systems that reduce exposure to hazardous fumes and chemicals.
What types of burns can welders experience?Top of Form
Welders can sustain several types of burn injuries, ranging from minor burns to severe and life-threatening injuries. Here are some of the most common types of burn injuries that welders may experience:
- Thermal burns. Thermal burns are caused by direct contact with hot surfaces, flames, or heated materials. Welders are at risk of thermal burns from hot metal or sparks during the welding process.
- Electrical burns. Electrical burns are caused by exposure to electrical currents. Welders who work with electrical equipment and wiring are at risk of electrical burns if they come into contact with exposed wires or faulty equipment.
- Chemical burns. Welders may also be exposed to hazardous chemicals, such as solvents and cleaning agents, which can cause chemical burns if they come into contact with the skin.
- Ultraviolet (UV) burns. Welders are exposed to intense UV light during the welding process, which can cause sunburn-like symptoms, including redness, swelling, and blistering.
- Radiation burns. Welders who work with nuclear materials or in other high-radiation environments are at risk of radiation burns, which can cause severe damage to the skin and other tissues.
Burn injuries can range from mild to severe, and the severity of the injury depends on the extent of the burn and the location of the burn on the body. Severe burn injuries can cause long-term physical pain and emotional trauma and can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Does my burn injury qualify me for workers’ compensation?
Whether your burn injury qualifies you for workers’ compensation benefits (also called workers’ comp) depends on several factors. In general, if you sustained a burn injury while on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ comp. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides benefits to employees who have been injured or become ill as a result of their work.
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for a burn injury, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be an employee. Workers’ compensation benefits are only available to employees, not independent contractors or volunteers.
- Your injury must be work-related. Your burn injury must have occurred while you were performing job-related duties. This means that the injury must have been caused by an accident that happened at work, or must have happened during the scope of your job.
- You must report your injury. You must report your burn injury to your employer as soon as possible. Failure to report your injury within a certain timeframe could affect your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
- You must seek medical treatment. You must seek medical treatment for your burn injury and follow your doctor’s orders. Failure to seek medical treatment or to follow your doctor’s orders could affect your ability to receive workers’ comp.
If you meet the above criteria, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for your burn injury. Workers’ comp can include payment for medical bills and lost wages related to your accident. It is essential to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the claims process and ensure that your rights remain protected.
What if my loved one is killed from a burn injury?
In the unfortunate event of a fatal on-the-job burn injury, death benefits may be available to the surviving family members. Workers’ compensation death benefits can help provide financial support to the dependents of the deceased worker, including their spouse and children.
Workers’ compensation death benefits can include payment for funeral and burial expenses, lost wages, and ongoing financial support for the surviving dependents.
At Wagner & Wagner, our workers’ compensation attorneys are here to help when you or a loved one are injured on the job. We understand the financial and emotional burden of a severe injury, and can help you file your claim or help you through any roadblocks. We’re ready to fight when you can’t. We serve Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, and all of North Georgia. Call us or complete our contact form today to schedule a free, initial consultation.
Licensed for 34 years, Michael Augustine Wagner is a Personal Injury and Motor Vehicle Accidents lawyer in Chattanooga Tennessee. Learn More