Construction sites are dangerous places even when all available safety precautions are taken. Heavy equipment, powerful machinery, and hazardous materials all present the possibility of someone sustaining serious injuries. One of the more common types injuries sustained on construction site is a burn injury. There are various ways a person can sustain a burn injury on a construction site. Being aware of the common causes of burn injuries on construction sites can help you avoid this potentially devastating injury.
A burn injury can range in severity, the mildest is referred to as a first-degree burn. A first-degree burn occurs only on the outermost layer of the skin. It is painful, but the injury usually only involves redness and swelling in the burn area. It usually only takes about a week to heal. A second-degree burn extends to the second layer of skin. The burn blisters the skin and will likely result in scarring. A third-degree burn extends all the way down to the third layer of skin. The burn destroys the nerve endings in the skin. Because of the nerve damage, the burn itself will not be painful, but the pain felt in the surrounding skin will be severe.
Because of the range of hazards and hazardous materials found on construction sites, the common causes of burns on construction sites stretch a wide variety. Some of the most common causes of construction site burns include:
- Hazardous chemicals: Common chemicals found on construction sites include paint thinner, bleach, and other toxic materials. If these kinds of chemicals make contact with skin, a chemical burn can result. While washing away the chemical quickly can manage the severity of the burn, there may still be some skin damage. Most chemical burns result from a failure to take necessary safety measures such as appropriately sealing chemicals or keeping the chemicals properly stored and out of harm’s way.
- Electrical burns: Things like loose wires on a construction site can lead to electrical burns. If someone were to touch an exposed wire or electrical outlet, the electrical current could pass through the entire body. When an electrical current passes through your body, serious internal damage may occur.
- Scalding and thermal burns: Scalding kinds of burns are caused by steam or very hot liquids. Pipes that have burst due to high-pressure buildup can blast steam which scalds the body. Thermal burns are caused by flames or hot objects. On a construction site, hot asphalt and tar are common. Contact with these substances can cause severe burns.
These different type of burn injuries are commonly due to the failure of an employer or manager to maintain safe working conditions. When proper safety precautions are not taken on a construction site, injuries like burns can happen all too easily. If you have been injured on a construction site, contact us today.