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Chemical burns can occur if proper safety protocol isn't followed

People who work in certain industries are exposed to harmful chemicals on a regular basis. In some cases, these chemicals can lead to chemical burns. Caring for chemical burns is very serious because of the severity of the injuries.

There is a variety of chemicals that can cause chemical burns. Gasoline, drain cleaners, acids and paint thinners are a few of the possibilities. When someone is exposed to chemicals at work, there are certain safety procedures that must be followed. It is up to the employer to ensure that workers have what they need to handle chemicals safely.

In many cases, you will know right away if you have suffered from a chemical burn. In that case, it is vital that you remove the chemical from your skin. This means you might need to wipe or brush the area gently to remove the chemical. You might have to also remove jewelry, clothing and other items that harbor the chemical.

After the chemical has been removed from the area, you must rinse the area under cool water for at least 10 minutes. Once you have rinsed the area, apply gauze to the area loosely. You may need to seek medical attention, especially if you need to get a tetanus shot.

In some cases, you might not realize that you suffered a chemical burn right when it happens. In the case of some mild chemicals, the burn might not become apparent for hours after the exposure occurred. If you notice a burn appearing, you should take the same action as someone who noticed the burn immediately.

If you were injured at work by a chemical burn because of improper safety equipment or lax safety procedures, you might decide to explore your options for compensation. Knowing how to get help for medical expenses and lost wages might help you decide what you want to do.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Chemical Burns," accessed June 18, 2015

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