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Could It Be My Employer’s Fault I Was Electrocuted at Work?
Annually, electrocutions are one of the top four causes of fatal construction accidents in the U.S., according to the United States Department of Labor.
Fortunately, a recent on-the-job electrocution involving a 30-year-old Florida painter did not claim his life. However, the incident did leave the man with second and third degree burns, according to an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regional news release.
According to OSHA’s area director in Jacksonville, the painter’s employer, ShayCore Enterprises, which was subcontracted to paint the outside of Total Office Solutions, “recognized the hazards associated with working near power lines, but failed to take action to ensure workers were protected and equipped with the proper tools.”
What Do the Burn Classifications Mean?
According to The University of New Mexico’s UNM Hospital’s website, there are four burn degrees, including:
- First Degree – Only the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, is burned. Burn is usually comparable to a superficial sunburn minus the blisters. On average, the burn takes three to five days to heal.
- Second Degree – Includes two categories: partial thickness and full thickness. Partial thickness burns involve the entire epidermis and the upper layers of the dermis and can cause blisters. On average, without grafting, partial thickness burns take 10 to 21 days to heal and usually leave a scar. Full thickness burns destroy the epidermis and nearly all of the dermis. Excision and skin grafting is usually necessary for a full thickness burn to heal.
- Third Degree – Burn destroys all layers of the skin and extends into the subcutaneous tissues.
- Fourth Degree – Burn destroys all layers of the skin and extends into the subcutaneous tissues, muscle and bone.
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