A hotel worker at the Greenwood Village La Quinta Inn believed she was burned by an unidentified liquid found in an empty guest room. The bottle containing the unknown substance was placed in an odd location, high in the air and was bubbling and dripping when the hotel worker discovered it and sustained a work injury.
Concerned that the bottle may be some sort of explosive or drug-making paraphernalia, the Greenwood Village police, South Metro firefighters and a hazardous materials team were called in to investigate. A portion of the hotel was evacuated as a safety precaution.
Upon examination, it was discovered that the hotel worker’s injuries were a skin irritation rather than a burn. But, workplace burns are an injury typically covered by Colorado workers’ compensation.
Three common types of burns that may occur in a Colorado workplace are:
- Thermal. A thermal burn is usually the result of contact with a hot surface, hot liquid, steam or flames.
- Chemical. A chemical burn typically forms after exposure to a strong acid or alkaline.
- Electrical. An electrical burn can result when an electrical current passes through the body, for example when someone is electrocuted or experiences an electric shock.
The type and severity of burn experienced after a Colorado workplace injury will determine how an injured worker should be treated. Because an electrical burn involves an entry and an exit for electrical current passing through the body, internal injuries may have occurred that can only be determined after a full medical examination. A chemical burn may continue to cause damage to the skin until the chemical is removed or washed away.
As with any workplace injury, if you’ve suffered a burn injury while on-the-job, it’s important to seek treatment right away.
Source: 7 ABC News, “Liquid Injures Worker, Forces Hotel Evacuation,” Deb Stanley, February 28, 2012