Cement burns may not be the most common construction accident injury, but these chemical burns can pose a serious threat to workers. Wet cement is an alkaline substance that can rapidly cause second- or third-degree chemical burns on contact. Cement burns can be avoided with proper training and safety procedures that prevent workers from coming into direct contact with wet concrete.
Unfortunately, many employers do not have safety measures in place. At Golitko & Daly in Indianapolis, IN, a cement burn attorney can work on your behalf to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Here, you can learn more about construction accidents and cement burns.
What Are Cement Burns?
Cement is made of many different chemicals, the most dangerous of which are potassium, sodium, and calcium oxides. When combined with water, these substances form alkali hydroxides that can harm the skin.
Calcium hydroxide is a highly alkaline substance, with a pH level between 12 and 13. Human skin has a pH level of 5.5, and contact with wet cement can result in severe chemical burns.
As with other types of chemical burns, victims may not feel any discomfort at first. By the time they realize something is wrong, severe damage may have occurred.
Cement Burn Risks
Part of the difficulty in treating a cement burn is that the injury may go unnoticed until after the skin has been damaged. Cement burns often result in discoloration, as the skin will gradually change from its normal color to a bluish-purple shade.
Eventually, painful second and third-degree burns may result. In severe cases, cement burns may require amputation. Generally, patients report inflamed skin in and near the affected area, as well as severe blistering.
Victims who have been exposed to wet cement commonly experience mild skin irritation at the site. Because this irritation is only mild, the injury is often left untreated. The severity of the injury will largely depend on the amount of time the victim was in contact with the cement.
While cement burns can occur anywhere on the body, the lower limbs are the most common location for this injury. Victims are advised to remove and rinse any clothing as soon as possible after exposure to wet cement. It is also important to flush the site with water and vinegar to neutralize the alkalinity of the cement.
Damages in Cement Burn Cases
Identifying an exact amount of damages in a personal injury case is nearly impossible without first thoroughly examining the details. The severity of the injury, the intentions of the liable party, and the treatment required will be evaluated when determining the appropriate amount of compensation to pursue.
Damages awarded to cement burn victims may include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Ongoing pain and suffering
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
The attorneys at Golitko & Daly can help with your case. We will work with you to devise a strategy to establish liability so that you receive compensation for your injuries.
To speak with one of our expert attorneys, contact us online or call us at (317) 566-9600 today.