Workplace-related burns are most common in occupations that involve working in close proximity to chemicals, high temperatures, electrical currents and machinery. Workplace burns can be thermal (high temperature), chemical, or electrical. Burns can result in serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. But they can also cause permanent scarring, which may be accompanied by emotional pain and suffering if the scars are located on a highly-visible part of the body, such as the face.
Facts About Scar Compensation in MA
In MA, workers’ compensation covers most work-related injuries. But what about scarring? What if you suffer from severe facial scarring, but your ability to perform your job duties isn’t affected at all? Can you still obtain workers’ comp benefits? A MA work injury lawyer can help you determine how to obtain compensation if you’ve been injured on the job. The facts below provide some pertinent facts about how workers’ comp handles on-the-job scarring.
- The location of the scar is important. In order to be compensated for a scar, it must appear on your face, neck or hands. Under Section 36 of the MA Workers’ Compensation Statute, any scar on these parts of your body is compensable.
- If you have a compensable scar, you do not need to miss work to receive workers’ comp payments. For example, if you are burned while working as a chef, you do not need to miss a single day of work to receive benefits, assuming that the scar is on the face, hands or neck.
- The scar does not have to meet a minimum length or size to be covered. If you have a scar on your face, hands or neck, the size and length will certainly impact the amount of benefits you are eligible to receive, but a small scar does not disqualify you from receiving benefits.
How to Avoid Workplace Burns
Burns in the workplace are actually very common, but nearly all of these accidents are easily preventable. By following the tips below, you can dramatically reduce your risk of serious injury, disfigurement and death:
- Familiarize yourself with workplace safety rules. It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that you are aware of this information at all times, and that you receive adequate safety training on a regular basis. Talk to your employer if you are unaware of company safety policies. If your employer isn’t receptive to your concerns, you can always contact OSHA.
- Use extra caution around hot surfaces and hot substances (oil or grease), chemicals, and electrical wiring. A Boston work injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been burned on the job.
- Wear appropriate safety clothing and gear. Depending on your occupation, protective clothing may include fire-resistant fabrics and materials, gloves and eye protection.
- Know what to do if an accident occurs. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. Before beginning any high-risk job, ensure that there are easily-accessible fire extinguishers (and that they are functioning), eyewash stations and first aid kits on hand.
- Stay focused. In this day and age, it’s not hard to get distracted. But distractions can be deadly when you’re working with electricity, high temps and toxic chemicals. Avoid taking shortcuts, and keep your mind clear and focused. If you’re having a bad day or you’re ill, it may be best to ask for a lower-risk task that day.