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Of all the injuries one can sustain while on the job, severe burns can be the most serious when it comes to getting workplace accommodations. Burns can lead to loss of physical functionality and the potential hardships they may cause bring severe complications to the healing of burn victims. An experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand the legal rights that protect such victims. 

Understanding Accommodations and the Law

Burns may be caused by many things at the workplace, including explosions, chemicals, scalding, live wires, contact between skin and rough surfaces, grease fires, etc. According to the National Library of Medicine, as much as 45% of all burns occur at work.  Workers’ compensation benefits may cover the treatment needed directly after the accident, but in the long run, it takes much more to get the injured employee back on the job.

The Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t specifically define a severe burn as a disability. Still, if the long-term effect of the burn is an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, it’s understood to fall under the category of a disability. Anyone with a disability under the ADA is in a protected class and cannot be discriminated against for that reason.

Burns may limit mobility and require alterations to your lifestyle and work or home environment for you to function normally.

Physical Implications of Severe Burns and Necessary Accommodations

There are specific physical complications that can derive from severe burns, including immobility, extensive scarring, and sensory issues. Those obstacles can hinder regular tasks and activities, thus necessitating accommodations.

There are many ways burns may affect a person’s ability to work, including:

  • Severe burn scars impair the ability to sweat and make the victim sensitive to heat and cold, which may require limiting the amount of time an employee is outside on warm days. 
  • Sometimes, victims can only sit for a short amount of time, and they may need frequent breaks if they work in an office. 
  • Sometimes, burn victims can’t stand as long as they could before. 

Most people need to use their hands to perform their jobs. If an individual has severe scarring on their hands, it can be a challenge in any job. Gloves, assistive writing devices, a special keyboard and/or mouse for the computer, and bigger monitors may all be necessary for normal functioning at work. 

An employer is obligated under the ADA to provide the necessary accommodations to get a burn victim back to work. In addition to physical accommodations, the employee might need time off for doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, or mobility aids. Each situation is unique, so accommodations will likely differ for each person.

Schedule a Consultation with a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney

The experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Parsons Law Group can help a victim of severe burn injuries to navigate the claim process and get back to work. Contact us today to learn more.