Who Is at The Largest Risk for a Burn Injury?

Updated on July 28, 2021

According to the American Burn Association, in the United States alone, there are over 450,000 serious burn injuries each year that result in medical treatment. These injuries can be the result of both home accidents as well as workplace related. Burn injuries can also take place in other locations as well. These types of injuries can be the result of fires, explosions as well as chemical spills. Burn injuries are often a result of negligence on the part of others. If you have experienced a burn injury, it is important to know if you are entitled to compensation. Understanding the different types of burn injuries and who is at the most risk of burn injuries, can help you to better investigate the cause of your own injuries. 

Thermal Burns 

Thermal burns are often seen in explosions. Even if you are not directly touched by a flame during an explosive event, you can still sustain thermal burns from the heat of the explosion or from contact with heated materials. Thermal burns can also be the result of scalding. Scalding is often seen in food industry injuries as well as other types of workplace injuries where liquid is used on a regular basis. 

Chemical Burns 

Coming in contact with caustic chemicals can also cause burn injuries. Many people suffering from chemical burns do not realize that their injuries qualify as a burn injury. When skin comes into contact with acidic or alkali substances it can cause life-threatening conditions. 

Radiation Burns 

Although rare, radiation burns can also cause life altering injuries. When the skin is exposed to radiation for long periods of time, radiation burns can result. Victims of this type of incident often must undergo decontamination as well. Exposure to radiation can have lifelong effects on the skin and all systems of the body as well as put victims at increased risk for certain types of cancer.

Electrical Burns 

Exposure to electricity can result in burns and electrocution. Not only does this type of event affect the skin and tissues but electrical burns or electrocution can also have long lasting neurological effects as well.  

Let’s look at who is at most risk for these types of injuries. 


Children are at great risk for burn injuries. Children often do not understand the risks involved with touching hot appliances. Children are also often fascinated by fire and will not take the necessary precautions to stay safe near flames. Chemical burns also affect children at a greater rate because very young children cannot read warning labels. 

A child’s skin is thinner than an adult’s also. This means that a child’s skin may sustain a much more serious burn at a lower temperature than an adult would. 

Children in schools and childcare facilities can become the victims of burn injuries when negligence is present. School and childcare staff are required by law to keep children protected from all burn risks. 

Food Service Employees

Because food service employees are constantly around food prep and cooking areas, there is an increased risk of burns. Burns can result from exposure to open flames, contact with hot materials as well as scalding. 

Food service employees can be injured when preparing food, serving food, and even when cleaning. Industrial dishwashers used in many foodservice industries operate at very high temperatures. When employees are not properly trained on how to use this type of equipment safely, injuries can occur. Many burn injuries in food service are the result of a lack of sufficient training on the part of management. 


Those working in the electrical field of construction understand that with their occupation comes certain understood risks. However, these risks should be kept at a minimum through training protocols and risk management. Risk management and training are the responsibility of management and supervision departments. When these departments are not fulfilling their responsibilities, injuries often result. 

Construction Workers

Construction workers are often dealing with machinery and heated materials that can pose a risk of burn injuries. Even materials that are normally considered safe can become a burn risk when they are exposed to solar heat for many hours. It is the responsibility of management and supervisors to ensure that construction workers are working under safe conditions and that burn risks are kept at a minimum. If you have been burned on a construction site, it is important to evaluate who is at fault for your injuries. 


When working with engines and other types of machines, burn risks are always present. Mechanics that have been injured due to a burn should investigate the level of training they received prior to starting their job. It is also important to investigate the safety protocols in place to make sure they are up to legal standards. 

Severity of Burns 

Understanding the severity of burns will be essential in understanding your potential for compensation. Medically, burns will be categorized by the severity of the damage the burn has done to tissue. 

  • First Degree Burn- This is the most common type of burn and is considered minor. Even sunburns can sometimes fall into this category. Although painful, first-degree burns will not have long-term consequences. 
  • Second Degree Burns- These types of burns are more severe and generally cause damage to the second layer of skin. With a second-degree burn, you may see blisters. Recovery is usually about two or three weeks. 
  • Third Degree Burns- A third-degree burn will destroy the entire epidermis and parts of the dermis. Skin grafts are sometimes needed after this type of burn. 
  • Fourth Degree Burns- Fourth-degree burns will result in the destruction of both layers of skin as well as damage to the muscles and nerves. In very severe cases, bone matter can also be affected by the burn. These types of injuries are rare and very severe. 

Understanding Your Rights

Burns can be the result of many different types of injuries in many different types of settings. It can also sometimes be difficult to pinpoint who is at fault for a burn injury. Burn cases often necessitate investigation in order to fully understand who is at fault. It can feel difficult and overwhelming when you are recovering from your injuries to try and figure all of this out on your own and investigate how your burn injuries happened. 

Using the services of a knowledgeable burn injury law firm can be very helpful during this time. These professionals can help you further investigate the cause of your injuries and help you understand if you are entitled to compensation. 

If you have questions concerning your burn injuries, contact a burn injury law firm today. 

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