Burn Injury Awareness: How to prevent burn injuries at home and work
One person was burned by an air fryer while working at a fast food restaurant. Another person suffered serious second- and third-degree burns when a tank overflowed at work, and hot oil splashed onto his hands. And another person was burned by a cream bought for home use to remove callus.
These are just a few of the people in Kern County who have suffered burn injuries at work, or at the fault of someone else, and came to our Bakersfield law firm for help. They join about 400,000 people who receive medical care for treatment of burn injuries each year.
This week is Burn Awareness Week, a chance for burn care organizations, survivor support groups, public safety officials, injury prevention professionals, educators, and all of us to share prevention messages associated with burn injuries.
Burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in our country. Children under 5 years old are two times as likely to be seen for burn injuries at a hospital emergency department. The majority of these injuries are preventable, with most burn injuries occurring at home and nearly 10% of all burn injuries taking place in the workplace.
This year’s theme for Burn Awareness Week is “electrical safety.” The most common risk of electrical burn injuries comes from unprotected electrical outlets, improperly used extension cords, lightning, and workplace electrical injuries. In fact, one can encounter many risks in a household, but we can decrease the dangers of electrical fires and burns by doing the following:
- Plug major appliances, like space heaters and air conditioners, directly into wall outlets. Don’t use extension cords or power strips with them.
- Charge laptops and cellphone on hard surfaces. Don’t charge them on soft surfaces like beds or upholstered furniture.
- Unplug any device powered by lithium-ion batteries once they are fully charged. Don’t overcharge or leave them charging unattended, or overnight.
- Turn heating pads, electric blankets and space heaters off before sleeping.
- Learn how to react to a fire in the microwave oven: keep the door shut and unplug it if safe to do so.
- As a general rule, don’t put metal in the microwave.
- Keep battery terminals (positive and negative ends) from coming in contact with each other, or with other metals. Tape the ends if you are storing them loosely in a drawer.
Sadly, accidents happen even when taking precautions. Here’s what you should do in the case of a burn injury:
- Treat a burn right away by putting it under cool, running water. Cool the burn for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cover a burn with a clean, dry cloth. Do not apply creams, ointments, sprays or other home remedies.
- Seek immediate emergency medical care for more serious burns to prevent infection and other complications.
CHAIN | COHN | CLARK BURN INJURY CASES
Over the years, the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark have helped numerous burn injury victims, as well as given back in an effort to raise awareness and make sure victims are properly cared for. In fact, when San Joaquin Community Hospital (now Adventist Health) established a burn center to help Bakersfield and Kern County residents in need of specialized burn care, the law firm’s partners donated $200,000 toward the center and it was named the Chain | Cohn | Clark Burn Center.
Here are just a three recent notable cases:
- Lawyer David K. Cohn helped resolve a lawsuit for $10 million after a man was burned over 80 percent of his body in an oilfield accident.
- Attorney David Cohn represented two men who suffered from severe injuries caused in a fireworks accident while attending a party on Fourth of July in west Bakersfield. The two men arrived at the party where party-goers were allegedly setting off illegal fireworks and explosives. A blast injured two people, and the case settled in 2018 for $2.3 million.
- In June 2012, David was watering his yard in Ridgecrest when he heard a sizzle and a pop sound. A raven had landed on a power line, which then failed and caused the electrical wire to fall on a fence three houses away. As the fence caught fire, David ran to try to put it out, not knowing a power line was down in the area. While focused on fighting the fire, David didn’t notice that his son, 3 years old at the time, followed close behind. When he noticed his boy, David ran to move him away, but it was too late. The boy tripped over the electrical wire, which caused an electric jolt that burned both of his legs. Attorney Matt Clark helped settle the family’s lawsuit, which argued that a connector on the power line failed when the raven landed near it. The failure caused the wire to fall to the ground, putting residents there in danger.
- The law firm was involved in several cases of exploding e-cigarettes where the victims suffered major burn injuries when electronic cigarettes, or “vapes,” they were using failed and exploded spontaneously.
For more on these types of cases, see the Chain | Cohn | Clark “Results” page.
If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form.