The many petrochemical plants that dot both sides of the Mississippi River corridor from Baton Rouge to New Orleans provide a good living to many residents in the nearby parishes. But those same plants can produce catastrophic injuries when there are accidental releases and other problems. One of the possible consequences of an accident at a petrochemical plant is chemical burns to the workers.
Chemical burns can cause devastating injuries to those who wind up getting splashed by the caustic substances. It might immediately be evident that you are burned. But less caustic (but still dangerous) substances may burn you more insidiously. It might take several hours to notice the damage to your skin.
So, in the event of a chemical spill, what should you do? The Mayo Clinic recommends taking the following steps immediately:
- Remove the substance causing the burn
- Rinse skin with running water for 10 or more minutes
- If the chemical is dry, brush it off your skin before getting skin wet
- Don’t come into further contact with the chemical. Use an object to remove contaminated objects instead of your hands
- Take off any contaminated clothing or jewelry
- Cover burn with sterile gauze and wrap loosely
- Continue flushing if flesh is still burning
- Seek medical treatment
- Get a tetanus shot
Chemical burns can be disfiguring and cause long-term, even permanent, damage. After a workplace chemical burn, you may not be able to return to work for a long time — if ever. This could have life-altering consequences for you and your family if you are no longer able to earn a living. You may need to learn more about your options for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages.