Burns and scalds claims

A burn or scald is a very painful injury which in some cases can result in permanent disfiguration. They are caused by a variety of factors such as chemical spillage, extreme heat, electric shock and even extreme cold.

Causes of workplace burns and scalds

Burns and scalds can occur in any environment which includes the workplace. Examples of these include professional kitchens in restaurants, foundries and steelworks. But they can occur in any environment in which there is exposure to extreme heat, hazardous substances and machinery/electrical equipment.

Anyone who works in these types of environments is at risk of a burn or scald. However employers have a responsibility to their employees to ensure that they are protected against the risk of an injury.

Duty of care

An employer must have evaluated the risks inherent in the work environment, e.g. extreme heat, and put safeguards in place for their employees. These include health and safety guidelines, protective clothing and training.

But if these are not implemented or fail in some way then there is a serious risk of an accident.

If you have sustained a burn or have been scalded at work which is not your fault then you may be entitled to compensation.

Effects of a burn or scald

This is a painful injury. Burns are graded according to their severity, which ranges from first degree through to third degree. There are grades in between although these tend not to be used unless in exceptional circumstances.

A first degree burn is classed as mild, partial thickness burn whereas a third degree burn covers most areas of the body and is life threatening. Many types of burns cause scarring.

Whilst scalds are not subject to this classification they are, nonetheless, painful as many types of burns. Severe scalds can also cause scarring.

Scarring is a serious consequence of a burn or scald. Scars can be repaired via plastic surgery but severe scarring can be unsightly and cause a great deal of mental distress.

People who develop scarring as a result of a burn or scald often feel embarrassed or self-conscious about their appearance. They may find this difficult to come to terms with and sink into depression as a result.

There is no amount of money that will undo the damage caused by a burn or scald at work but compensation can be used in positive ways. These include paying for private treatment, e.g. plastic or cosmetic surgery and support services such as counselling.

Making a claim for compensation for a burn or scald

With any compensation claim the main issue is that of ‘burden of proof’. In other words, if a lack of care by your employer resulted in your injury then you may receive a compensation award.

The amount will depend upon the severity of your injury.

Find a personal injury lawyer who has experience in these types of claims. He or she will understand physical and mental aspects of your claim which also includes the emotional distress your injury has caused you and your family.

They should have an understanding of the complex issues involved and advise you about the likely outcome of your claim.

Find out more about the claims process in our making a claim for compensation section.

Time limit for claiming compensation for a burn or scald

There are set time limits for personal injury claims but confirm this with your lawyer. He or she should emphasise the importance of making a claim within the time limit and encourage you to do so.

Personal Injury Guide

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