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What Should I Do If I Have Suffered an On-The-Job Chemical Burn?


A number of Los Angeles employees handle dangerous chemicals every day while performing their job duties. Some of the most common chemicals workers use include strong acids, paint thinner, gasoline and drain cleaners with lye in them. These chemicals can burn, and although it’s usually obvious that a burn has happened, sometimes the symptoms don’t appear until hours after the employee is exposed.

This article lists important first aid advice for workers burned by chemicals. First, here is what to do if the chemical burn is immediately recognizable:

  • Get the burning chemical off the skin. If it is a liquid chemical, flush with lots of water. If it is a dry chemical make sure to brush it off. Wear gloves and use a towel when removing the chemical.
  • Take off all contaminated clothing and other articles.
  • Allow cool tap water to run over the burn for at least 10 minutes. A shower could be best. Protect the eyes while doing this.
  • Apply gauze or bandage to the burned area very loosely.
  • Use a non-prescription pain killer if needed. Something like ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen.
  • Think about getting a tetanus shot, or checking to see if your last tetanus shot is up to date.
  • Second, here is how to know if emergency care is required:
  • When the individual evidences signs of being in shock, like fainting, shallow breathing and having a pale complexion.
  • If the burn is larger than three inches wide and the burn has gone deeper than the skin’s first layer.
  • When the burn goes all the way around a limb or affects the face, feet, hands, groin, buttocks, hands, eyes or an important joint in the body.

Lost Angeles workers will usually be able to get workers’ compensation benefits to pay for their medical care following a serious on-the-job chemical burn injury. Those who have been burned in the course and scope of their employment may, therefore, wish to seek guidance from a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer.

Source: Mayo Clinic, “Chemical burns: First aid,” accessed Oct. 05, 2016