What You Should Know About Workplace Chemical Burns

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IL job injury lawyer, IL workers comp attorneyOn industrial sites and in other workplaces throughout the country, workers use a wide range of strong chemicals and other materials in the course of performing their job duties. Some of these chemicals are mostly safe, but others can be extremely dangerous. Caustic chemicals can cause serious burns, and if you have suffered workplace chemical burns, you should understand the rights you may have to benefits under the Illinois workers’ compensation system .

Dangerous Substances

Chemicals that have the ability to cause burns are most often strong acids and bases. You might even find versions of such chemicals in your own home, such as chlorine bleach, drain cleaning gels and liquids, and ammonia. In industrial and manufacturing settings, however, the concentration of these chemicals is often much stronger than the household versions, and many other chemicals are generally used as well.

When a corrosive or caustic chemical contacts your skin, the chemical could start to damage the flesh almost immediately. The seriousness of the burn will depend on factors such as the type of chemical, its concentration, and how long it was on your skin. A “superficial” chemical burn is a burn that affects only the top layer of your skin. A “dermal” or “partial thickness” injury is a burn that damages the dermis—your second layer of skin. “Full-thickness” burns cause damage to the first two skin layers and the subcutaneous tissue underneath.

Treatment for Chemical Burns

When you suffer a chemical burn, first aid is extremely important. Before the burn itself can be treated, you need to get the chemical off the skin. This also means removing any clothing, jewelry, equipment, or anything else that might have the chemical on it. Then, the burn should be gently flushed with cool running water for a minimum of 10 minutes. If the burn covers a large area or multiple areas, a cool shower may be best. If first aid seems to be enough, you can manage mild swelling and pain with anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve.

If your burn happened at work, your best option is to seek professional medical care so that the extent of the burn can be fully evaluated. Then, you should notify your employer about the situation so that your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits is fully protected.

Call a Cook County Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

When you suffer a chemical burn at work, the costs of your treatment should be covered under workers’ compensation. You should also be eligible for wage benefits if your burn causes you to miss time. Other benefits may also be available. To learn more, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio. Call 630-574-2288 for a free consultation regarding your case today.




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