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California refinery workers splashed with acid in work accident

Exposure to heat sources is not the only hazard that a California worker may face that can cause a burn injury. Electrical burns may harm workers, exposure to chemicals and gases may also cause severe burns. When it comes to burns related to caustic chemicals, a simple splash can induce significant tissue damage to the skin or eyes of a worker.

Chemicals may not need to be hot to cause severe burn injuries in many cases, depending upon the nature of the chemical. Many people may visualize burns involving splashes as being similar to something a cook may suffer when grease splashes out of a deep fryer.

A recent incident in Northern California highlights how workers may be exposed to hazards when caustic chemicals are used in an industry. Authorities say that two workers were hit with sulfuric acid while working in a refinery last week in Contra Costa County, California. While it remains unclear what caused the acid to splash, the workers suffered injuries in the workplace accident.

Thankfully, authorities believe that the injuries appear to be relatively minor. The workers were released after being treated at the hospital. But, as burn injuries, even chemically induced burns, can be severe, authorities had called in a chopper after the accident was reported last Wednesday. The workers were flown to an area hospital. The cause of the workplace accident remains under investigation.

Workers who suffer injuries on the job may have a right to be compensated for the workplace injury. Conversely, employers or insurance companies may be reluctant to provide these important benefits. An injured worker should consider speaking with legal counsel to learn how workers’ compensation laws protect injured workers before giving up potential rights in a settlement.

Source: KTVU, “Tesoro Refinery workers suffer minor injuries in acid spill,” Feb. 12, 2014

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