No one wants to get burned by anything. At minimum, a burn is an inconvenient and sore pest that you have to look after. More severe burns can be much more debilitating, even deadly. They’re nothing to take lightly.
Burn risks exist far outside the kitchen. They can even exist in your business in the most unlikely places. One estimate is that around 25% of all hospital burn cases originate at someone’s job. Should an employee sustain burns at work, they might not be able to work for some time, and they might be unable to make a living. This incapacitation might entitle them to workers’ compensation coverage.
Workers Compensation for Burns
When an employee gets burned on the job, this might force them to take significant time off to recover. During that time, they might lose their income, face significant medical expenses, encounter a permanent disability and be unable to provide for their family.
As a result of the circumstances that employees might face because of the burn, most states have laws that will make the injured party eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation can help the burned employee afford medical bills and everyday expenses while they recover. Businesses often have to provide this coverage even if the injury arose as a result as a pure accident.
Burns in the workplace can arise from a variety of sources. These might include:
- Burns from open flames, controlled or uncontrolled fires.
- Chemical burns from solvents.
- Electrical burns.
- Thermal burns, such as those from hot surfaces.
Everything from a welding torch to a hot coffee pot might lead to a burn (and yes, accidents in the break room can still qualify an employee for workers’ compensation). This makes it imperative for an employer to have this coverage. It significantly reduces their own liability for employee injuries.
Preventing Burns in Your Business
No business is immune to burn hazards. Therefore, all companies should make conscious efforts to keep these risks to a minimum. Business owners can do so by:
- Placing warnings about burn hazards and known areas of risk. These areas might include kitchens, exposed pipes, electrical wiring and automatic equipment.
- Teaching employees how to properly operate machinery that poses burn risks. Operators must always use materials according to manufacturer directions.
- Installing fire, smoke and heat alarms throughout the business.
Immediately stop use of any items that pose imminent burn risks. Regularly inspect all equipment for signs of damage that might lead to burn risks. Should an employee experience a burn at any time, immediately begin an investigation and file a workers’ compensation report. Work with your insurance provider to help the employee get assistance.