Concrete Worker Accident & Workers Comp Lawyer: Chicago, Illinois
Attorneys for Injured Concrete Workers
Did a concrete burn in your workplace injure you, or did you lose a loved one in a concrete accident caused by another's negligence? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for employees injured on the job or exposed to toxic chemicals.
Call our law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Portland cement is abrasive and acidic, so it is not surprising that workers can get burned by cement. In the U.S., there are about 7,000 cement burns per year from splashes or spills.
These burns are challenging to treat since cement is an alkali and therefore caustic. It requires non-abrasive soap to neutralize the mix on the skin. Even if the wet mixture is not washed off immediately, cement will eventually wash off naturally.
Cement Splashes & Chemical Burns
An article in U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Reporter states that cement splashes can cause chemical burns on the skin, just like battery acid or hydrochloric acid. These burns are excruciating and can be challenging to treat because the mixture can hide in crevices in the skin for up to two months.
The best preventative option against cement injury is taking precautions. Gloves and protective clothing are recommended, but they are not enough to protect against wet cement burns, but they offer reasonable safety.
To help prevent concrete burns, workers should use eye and face protection when concrete splashes around to cushion the skin. In addition, the builder's protective clothing should be inspected regularly to ensure that the mixture cannot seep through the fabric and compromise workers' safety.
Wide-brimmed hats can also help protect against burns on the skin since the wet mix can seep into eyes, hair, and ears. Finally, a protective apron can offer some splash protection.
Laboratory tests have shown that cement splashes on the skin do not always result in burns. The composition is essential: the wet mix can have large air pockets, reducing the causticity if the paste splashes.
Contact Attorneys for Concrete Burn Injuries
Many concrete burn injuries can cause permanent damage. So, if you have been injured at work, you may need legal representation to get the best possible monetary recovery for your workplace injuries.
It is crucial to look at the long-term costs of your injuries. Our team of personal injury attorneys is well versed with relevant regulations and will strive to get the best compensation outcome in your case. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your injuries and never charge a fee unless we can get you a financial recovery.
The Three Leading Causes of Skin Response to Cement are:
- Skin burns
Workers can be severely burned wearing clothing soaked with chemicals that can burn the knees, legs, arms, hands, and ankles even while wearing protective boots.
Burning Eyes and Skin
When caustic cement splashes onto clothes, secondary cement burns are more common than primary burns (cement splashes on the skin). Therefore, it is advisable for workers to wear preventative clothing and have eyewashes available to guarantee skin safety.
An article from Construction Safety lists cement spills as one of the most dangerous materials in the construction business. Wet cement splashes can lead to burns if paste splashes are not cleaned off the skin quickly.
Splashes should be cleaned off with soap and water immediately, followed by a thorough washing of the eyes. Serious portland cement injuries require urgent medical attention and usually result in an eyewash or a trip to the emergency room for skin treatment to mitigate damage.
Workers should wear tight-fitting preventative headgear to avoid cement burn since paste splashes can get into ears and hair. Eye protection should be worn when ingredients are being mixed or poured. Builders' protective clothing should be inspected regularly to ensure its safety is intact.
For employers and workers, prevention is crucial to ensuring safety. Therefore, every team member should be adequately trained on why exposure to cement products can be especially hazardous, leading to burns and skin irritation.
All workers should be equipped with the best PPE (personal protection equipment) mandated by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).
Portland Cement Burns Can Negatively Impact a Concrete Worker
Some concrete elements can lead to injuries by entering the body through a splash or contact with the skin. For example, a study on concrete burns showed how some concrete components caused injuries to a worker's eye and face simply by direct contact.
As a result, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) investigated injuries in two incidents where cement components resulted in burns.
In one incident, a worker was mixing cement using a vibrator mixer when splashes entered his eye, causing burn injuries to the eye and face. The Chemical Safety Board also investigated a worker's hand burns after contacting elements in the wet mix.
The burn injuries on the worker's hand were not treated for 25 minutes, which led to skin burns. The splash injuries caused by concrete components can become serious if not treated immediately.
In their burn investigation reports, the Chemical Safety Board stated that these skin injuries could have been prevented if burns were treated immediately and splash injuries prevented. According to Safecomp, wet splash injuries should be immediately cleaned off with soap and water to prevent them from becoming worse.
Experienced and inexperienced workers who have come across prolonged concrete solution exposure should seek skin medical treatment at the hospital emergency room to mitigate burn injury.
The concrete components can cause reaction burns when airborne as dust during the mixing process for construction. However, in the investigation reports, burn symptoms did not occur in one incident if a builder was wearing splash-resistant glasses as his safety was adequate.
Protect your eyes from splashes with splash-resistant safety glasses and keep your skin safe by wearing protective clothing if you are in the construction business. In addition, protective gear can resist burns when concrete components become airborne as dust or fumes during contact.
Protect Against Concrete Burns by Wearing Proper Clothing
The concrete components can cause burns when airborne as dust during the mixing process for construction. However, the chemical investigation reports showed that wet burn symptoms did not occur if a builder wore splash-resistant clothing and splash-resistant glasses.
Concrete components should not come in direct contact with the skin leading to burns, and splashes should be cleaned off right away, followed by a thorough washing of the eyes. In addition, workers exposed to construction-related material should do rigorous hand washing after work.
Wet cement burns are some of the most threatening skin injuries to construction staff. The mixture's binding agent is crucial in construction materials such as concrete, mortar, and asphalt. Still, severe skin irritation or even necrosis (dying tissue) can occur from contact with chemicals.
Gloves or clothes saturated from prolonged exposure to wet caustic particles could result in painful reactions on unprotected skin surfaces.
The mix dries quickly due to its high alkaline content (raising pH levels), so these chemicals seep deep below the skin surface, where they harden like epoxy resin. Over time this process turns body tissue black and greenish-brown while also impairing mobility through chemical burns.
Some of the severe life-altering skin injuries caused by burns include:
- Dead or hardened skin
- Black or green skin
- Skin blisters
According to U.S. Department of Transportation 2017 statistics, concrete truck accidents are more common than cement splashes. In 2016, there were 20 fatal concrete truck accidents in the U.S. and 17 concrete truck accident fatalities in 2017.
Most Portland concrete truck accidents occur when trucks take tight turns at intersections or when the drivers are trying to avoid other cars. Concrete trucks weigh 36,000–85,000 lbs. Concrete truck accidents can cause severe injuries, and splashes are common truck accidents that harm drivers and other workers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that concrete truck accidents peak in June, July, and August. The National Safety Council estimates that concrete truck accidents cost Americans over half a billion dollars each year.
Workers should search for quality medical-related information to help them maintain safety measures while working.
Treating and Preventing Portland Concrete Burns
Many products that contain cement can lead to an allergic reaction. Cement burns require prompt treatment as follows:
- Seek skin medical treatment urgently if the burn is extensive
- Wash the affected skin area
- Smear vinegar on the affected skin
- Remove the wet protective gear
- Provide safety awareness training
- Clean hands before donning the protective gloves to keep them safe
- Adhere to the manufacturer's instructions to maintain workplace safety
- Do not mix dirty clothes with new clothes
How Serious Is a Concrete Burn From Wet Cement?
Without immediate treatment, the wet mix burn can lead to permanent eye damage. The severity of substantial burns depends on the amount used. Minor, superficial burns can develop into serious skin injuries within hours if they are not appropriately treated.
How Long Does It Take for a Cement Burn to Heal?
The length of time it takes for a cement burn to heal depends on the cement used and the depth of the burn. However, burns can remain painful and lead to itching for weeks.
Why Cement Burns Your Skin
Adding water to cement changes calcium oxide to calcium hydroxide resulting in a hazardous reaction leading to skin damage when exposed. Typically, it takes two days to a week to develop burns as the skin becomes itchy and swollen.
How You Know You Have Concrete Burns
Dealing with wet cement will develop the following symptoms:
- Lack of moisture
On-Scene First Aid Tool Kit
- Back-up protective gear
- Clean water for washing off
- PH measuring gadget
- Standard PH soap
OSHA Recommendations to Cement Workers
- Rubber water-resist boots that will cushion the feet from the wet paste mixture
- Safety Goggles and a glass face shield will protect the eyes and the face
- Waterproof gloves: The hands are more prone to exposure, and the gloves will offer safety
- Full-length overalls will safely cover most parts of the body and reduce exposure
- A full-sleeve shirt helps protect the arms from exposure safely
Contact Attorneys for Concrete Burn Injuries
Were you burned on the job, requiring medical attention at the doctor's office, hospital, or emergency room? At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our workplace accident attorneys can ensure you are adequately compensated for your damages.
Our legal team will ensure that you are receiving total benefits through the Worker's Comp. program and seek additional funds through third-party claims that might also be responsible for your injuries.
Call our law office today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form to schedule a free case evaluation. We accept all workplace accident cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements, meaning no upfront fees are paid until the legal issue is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.