Injuries Caused by High Pressure Steam to Industrial Workers

Injuries Caused by High Pressure Steam to Industrial WorkersWhile many might not realize it, steam can be a dangerous byproduct of a manufacturing process in many different industries. Whether you work in an automotive factory, as a maintenance professional in a boiler room, on a ship, or anywhere else steam is present; you can suffer injuries from steam in an accident. An experienced Oklahoma City burn injury attorney can help you fight for compensation if injured by steam on the job.

Steam burns and scalds can be catastrophic injuries

According to the Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America, “the severity of a steam burn might not be apparent when it first occurs.”. This can cause people to believe that their injuries aren’t as serious as they actually are.

Steam burn injuries have the ability to pierce through the epidermis (the outer layer of skin), the dermis (the middle layer of skin), and the hypodermis (the bottom layer of skin). Individuals who have steam burn injuries typically either have second- or third-degree burns, which can be extremely painful. The following are some of the characteristics to look for to determine if you have a second or third-degree burn:

  • Second-degree burn: When an individual has a second-degree burn, two layers of the skin are damaged. Your burn will look red, irritated, shiny, swollen, and possibly even wet. You may also have blisters, scarring, and the color of your skin may begin to change.
  • Third-degree burn: When an individual has a third-degree burn, their skin may look yellow, brown, black, or white. The nerves have most likely been damaged, meaning that you will no longer have any feeling in the area of the burn. This often leads to numbness and tingling. Depending on how deep your steam burn is, your tissue, muscles, bones, and tendons at the site of injury could all be damaged as well. Not only do these types of burns have the potential to spread, but they can also cause infections, joint issues, and complications.

Scald burns from steam can happen in a matter of seconds. You likely will not see the high-pressure steam, but might hear the pipe it emitted from making a hissing noise. Scald burns are severe and can lead to you being unable to work for a prolonged time. It is important that your employer test water lines using thermal technology to determine any areas that need to be repaired before a steam leak occurs.

Slip and fall accidents caused by steam

When steam hits the floor and condenses, it can cause you to suffer a slip and fall accident. Steam can easily make a non-carpeted surface wet, and often the wet floor isn’t easily noticeable. Slip and fall accidents caused by steam can lead to the following injuries:

How a burst steam pipe can lead to other injuries

Another scary situation involving steam is that of a burst pipe. Pipes can burst when cold water touches a hot pipe full of steam. This is what is known as a steam hammer. When a steam hammer occurs, the pipe often bursts. This creates a seriously hazardous situation in which shrapnel is thrown throughout the room. Flying pieces of metal pipe can lead to lacerations, eye puncture wounds, amputation, and even death. Asbestos and other toxic chemicals might also be released into the room where the pipe exploded, leading to you suffering cardiovascular or respiratory illnesses.

The long-term effects of steam-related injuries

Many people who use steam as part of their daily job duties or simply use steam around their homes to cook, clean, or inhale when experiencing allergy symptoms are likely to suffer long-term burn injuries. As a matter of fact, the National Center for Biotechnology Information released a study in 2020 about how steam inhalation led to severe burn injuries. Over a two-year period, from January 2018 to December 2019, 19 children and adults visited a specific hospital for steam burn injuries. The patients’ ages ranged from two weeks old to 91 years old. Six patients had surgery, 98 clinic appointments were made due to extensive steam burn injuries, and several patients had to stay overnight in the hospital.

After looking at this study, you will quickly realize that life-long injuries, disfigurement, and scarring are common when a person inhales or uses steam at home or work. Verywell Health states that individuals can also suffer steam burns in their eyes, mouth, windpipe, nose, and mucous membranes.

Why should you call an Oklahoma City personal injury attorney to handle your case?

If you suffer an industrial steam burn, you may be losing income and accumulating expensive medical bills. When this happens, you may be wondering what to do or where to turn. This is where Cunningham & Mears comes in, as we believe victims of steam injuries have the legal right to file a claim against the responsible party for their negligence. Therefore, our experienced and skilled personal injury attorneys will help you file a claim, determine who is responsible for your injuries, and provide you with an estimated amount of compensation for which you may be eligible.

If you have a steam burn injury, please do not hesitate to reach out to Cunningham & Mears as soon as possible. We will listen to your experience, look over the facts, and determine if you have a potential case. If we believe that you do, we will work hard to gather the evidence and build a strong case to support your claim. If you suffered an injury due to exposure to steam, call our Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.