Two University of Maryland College Park employees were hurt in a flash fire after they had worked on a heating and air conditioning unit. According to a news report in The Washington Post, the workers were on the roof of a dorm when the fire broke out. Officials say that it was the HVAC unit on top of Oakland Hall that caught fire and burned the men. One of the workers suffered serious trauma to his upper body and the other was hospitalized with less serious injuries. The nine-story dorm where the fire broke out houses 700 students, but the fire was contained before anyone else was hurt.
Heat burns, known as thermal burns, can result from fire, hot objects, hot liquids, and steam. Thermal burns are extremely dangerous and painful. Burns can also result in damage to muscles, nerves, lungs, blood vessels, and eyes of the victim. While first-degree burns often only result in a rash, second-, third-, and fourth-layer burns can be life threatening. When workers suffer these types of injuries, they require immediate care.
Workers who have sustained a deep burn may require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, surgery, skin grafts, and time away from work. For many, the cost of emergency care coupled with lost wages can put a considerable burden on finances. This is why it is important for injured workers to learn about workers’ compensation benefits.
To protect your rights, make sure you:
- Immediately notify your employer that you were injured.
- Gather evidence from the scene.
- Write down the name of every employee who witnessed the accident.
- Seek out medical attention from an employer-approved doctor that same day.
- Keep detailed records of your lost wages and medical expenses.
- Do not accept a workers’ compensation settlement that does not cover all of your expenses.
It is also advisable to learn about your legal options. You have the right to appeal the decision of an insurance provider and to fight for fair compensation. Some victims of burn injuries are even able to file a claim against the person or party responsible for the fire or the manufacturer of a defective product. Please contact a Maryland workers’ compensation attorney at Alpert Schreyer for more information.