A Look at the Most Common Reasons for Chemical Burns in the Workplace
When it comes to injuries, burns can be one of the most serious. There are different degrees of burns, from the least severe (1st degree) to the most severe (4th degree, which is fatal). But there is also another type of burn that can have serious consequences, and more often than not, this type of burn occurs in the workplace. A chemical burn is a different kind of burn, and anyone who suffers from it needs immediate medical treatment. If you work with chemicals or have suffered from a chemical burn, here’s what you need to know about the most common reasons for chemical burns.
The reasons for chemical burns
A chemical acid or a chemical base will be the most common cause of a chemical burn, and this type of burn can occur in the workplace, at school, or in any other place where chemicals are handled. There are certain products which can cause chemical burns, such as the acid from a car battery, ammonia and bleach, cleaners for dentures and products used for whitening teeth, and products for pool chlorination.
The symptoms of a chemical burn
You may not be aware that the symptoms associated with a chemical burn can vary; it depends on the cause of the burn or how it occurred. For example, a chemical burn from swallowing a chemical will have different symptoms from a chemical burn on the skin. But the typical symptoms will be based on the amount of time the skin was exposed to the chemical, if the chemical was swallowed or inhaled, whether the skin has any wounds or open cuts, the location of the burn, the strength of the chemical and the amount, and whether the material was in solid, liquid, or gas form. To give you a better idea: if an alkaline chemical is swallowed, it can result in burns on the stomach’s insides, which will cause a different symptom from chemicals on the skin.
All in all, however, the general or standard symptoms are as follows:
- Skin that looks black or ‘dead,’ (commonly seen in acid chemical burns)
- Redness and skin irritation on the area
- Pain or numbness on the area
- A change or loss of vision if the chemical has been in contact with the eyes
Swallowing a chemical also causes symptoms such as an irregular heartbeat (or even cardiac arrest), low blood pressure, headache or dizziness, shortness of breath, seizures, coughing, and muscle twitching.
The best thing to do would be to visit a medical professional or your local hospital right away if you experience a chemical burn. If your burn happened in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation for burns from your employer, especially if the injury was through no fault of your own.