A burn is not a great thing to have to deal with at its best, including chemical burns. While chemical burns are not the most dangerous thing one can expect to deal with, it is still something that you do not want to have to deal with if you can help it. However, chemical burns become that much more dangerous the more severe they are, just as any burn can become, and if left untreated immediately can see severe health complications, even to the extent that the sufferer of the chemical burn passes away from this injury.
That is why, in the event that a chemical burn occurs at your place of work a reasonable effort is made to treat it by your employers. What do you do in the event that negligence occurred at some point during the process that either needlessly allowed it to happen or allowed it to worsen it more than it needed to be?
Businesses have an obligation to do a number of things to ensure that their employees are kept safe while working at their business. Not just that all reasonable efforts are made to avoid harm befalling their employees in a chemical burn lawsuit, but also that in the event that harm is done despite all efforts made, they also must be given the opportunity and ability to deal with the injury.
For example, if a business has a risk of burns, there must be an effort made to provide all reasonable tools to minimize harm from the burn. Lotions designed to treat burns, bandages to wrap the burn, etc. Just as important as these tools are that there is training done to ensure that not only does everyone know how to use them properly, but also that they know how to avoid the situations that would call for these tools to be used.
This principle is true of any kind of injury; be it something falling and injuring a worker, slips, and falls, etc. Sometimes, it can be shown that a business was being neglectful and overworking an employee, or even allow them to go beyond their means in their work, resulting in overexertion, repetitive stress, and other things. If a business fails in any of these areas, this may make them liable, should the lawyer of a victim of said negligence be able to prove it in front of a judge or a jury.
Just as there are specific obligations to be prepared for reasonable injuries in the workplace, with burns or concussions or exhaustion, businesses are also obligated to reduce the risk of chemical burns as much as is reasonably possible and, if a situation occurs despite all of their best efforts, they must then have all of the tools and treatments meant to reduce the harm of these chemical burns, which can be especially helpful since chemical burns, when treated quickly, do a lot less damage than when they are allowed to linger more.
In the event that the chemical burn is more minor, quick treatment should be rather effective. Obviously, the first thing that must be done is to remove the cause of the burn — chemicals — as quickly as possible to prevent it from causing the burn to worsen. Once the substance responsible is removed from the victim of the burn, a person should wrap a dry, sterile bandage around the affected area.
The victim then should have some sort of pain reliever, and with a minor burn, ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be adequate, although if the pain does not seem to be subsiding, the victim of the burn should see a doctor as soon as possible so that they can be prescribed something stronger. For more significant burns, the business has a responsibility to ensure that the victim gets to an emergency room right away by calling 911.
Some items that can cause a chemical burn include bleach, ammonia, car battery acid, among other things. The type of person handling chemicals may also matter, as elderly people and people with disabilities may have more difficulty handling it, so a business must be mindful of one’s ability to perform their job.
In the event that a chemical burn does occur to you, be mindful of your environment, make it clear to everyone nearby that you have been burned, and try to get it treated as soon as you can. However, if the business has failed to provide necessary tools to deal with your burn, that may make them liable in a lawsuit.
If the business does indeed drop the ball in that respect, it is important to speak with a lawyer as quickly as you can, particularly one who has experience dealing with such lawsuits, who can then assess the damages and how much effort was made on the part of the business to reduce harm. Your employer may make efforts to dissuade you from going forward with a lawsuit, either through trying to convince you that it will not be worth your time or that you will lose, or even just trying to intimidate you by threatening a loss of your job. If this occurs, especially the latter, it may impact the lawsuit, and you can sue them for retaliatory practices.
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