Chemical Plant Employee Injuries in North Carolina
It seems like at least once or twice each year, a major chemical plant explosion and fire captures national attention. But those who work at chemical plants know that the occurrence of serious accidents and injuries are not isolated to these incidents. They face risks every day on the job, including chemical burns, slip and falls and respiratory illnesses from exposure to toxic substances.
Chemical plant workers in North Carolina who becomes injured or ill on the job may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If they can’t achieve this without facing resistance from their employers’ workers’ compensation insurer, a lawyer who has experience with workers’ compensation and occupational injuries can provide important help.
If your claim for worker’s compensation benefits has run into obstacles, Hardison & Cochran is available to assist you. Call us at (800) 434-8399 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We’ll respond within 24 hours.
Chemical Burn Injuries
Among the most common injuries suffered by chemical plant workers are chemical burns. Unless it affects a large portion of the body, a minor chemical burn can be treated with a cool, wet compress or immersion in cool, fresh water to control the pain, followed by pain relievers and loose bandages. But severe burns can char the outer skin and damage tissue several layers down, including muscle. The worst burns, if not fatal, disfigure the victim. They may be treated with multiple surgeries and skin grafts over a long period of time.
The Mayo Clinic says a chemical burn is a medical emergency if it:
- Occurs on the eye, hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks or over a major joint
- Causes a second-degree burn (redness, pain and swelling and blisters) to an area larger than three inches in diameter
- Is not eased by over-the-counter pain relievers
- Causes signs of shock, such as fainting, pale complexion or shallow breathing.
Employers should have a system in place for responding to these emergency situations, including providing readily accessible first-aid equipment and guidelines for reporting chemical burn accidents and injuries to supervisors.
Other Causes of Chemical Plant Injuries
Chemical plants are typically vast workplaces employing thousands of workers in a wide variety of occupations. In addition to injuries caused by the chemical products they manufacture and process, chemical plant employees are also threatened by the most common causes of nonfatal workplace injuries, which are identified by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s annual Workplace Safety Index:
- Overexertion from lifting, holding, carrying, pushing, pulling and/or throwing
- Falls to same level or to a lower level
- Adverse bodily reaction to bending, reaching, climbing, standing, sitting, slipping and/or tripping without falling
- Struck by object, such as something falling from above
- Struck against objects, including being pushed into walls or doors
- Repeated stress or strain / repetitive motion injuries
- Caught in or compressed by objects or machinery
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Violence / assault.
Our Lawyers Help Injured Chemical Plant Employees in North Carolina
If you are a chemical plant employee who has suffered an injury or illness related to your job duties, contact Hardison & Cochran for help today. Our lawyers can help you to:
- Seek workers’ compensation benefits – Regardless of who is at fault for your injury, you should be able to collect benefits to pay for your medical expenses and cover a portion of your average weekly wages if your injury or illness has left you disabled. Death benefits may also be sought by those who have lost a loved one.
- File a personal injury lawsuit – If a non-employer caused your chemical plant injury or illness, you may be able to file what is called a “third-party liability” claim. You would need to establish the non-employer’s fault. You could recover compensation that is not covered by North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits, including compensation for pain and suffering.
Our workplace injury lawyers can help you maximize the workers’ comp settlement you receive after a chemical plant injury and investigate whether a third-party legal claim for additional compensation is warranted. Contact Hardison & Cochran today at (800) 434-8399 or online to schedule a free meeting and discussion of your case.