Burn Injuries At Work – See If You Can Claim Compensation

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You are entitled to claim compensation if you have been burnt at work in an accident that wasn’t your fault. We work on a no win no fee basis, meaning there’s no financial cost to you if you don’t win your claim.

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Burns can be very serious injuries, with ongoing and often permanent consequences such as scarring and psychological trauma. The injured party can also lose income if left unable to work for a period of time. Making a compensation claim can go a long way to helping you through a difficult time.

Compensation will be awarded if it can be proven that the employer has been negligent and failed to comply with their statutory duties. Workers are legally entitled to a safe and secure environment. They must be trained properly and made aware of their obligations to work safely.

The different types of burn injury

In medical terminology, burns are classified depending on deep they penetrate the skin:

  • First degree burns damage the top layer of skin only (the epidermis). They will be red and blotchy, but not blistered, and pain should soon subside.
  • Second degree burns also damage the second layer of skin (the dermis). The injury will turn red and blister.
  • Third degree burns are the most serious and reach the third, final layer of skin (the hypodermis). They take a long time to heal and cause permanent scarring, possibly requiring skin grafts.

Levels of compensation vary according to the severity of a burn and its long-term impact on the claimant’s life. Therefore, one of the first steps in making a claim is to get a medical assessment of the injury. We can arrange this for you at no cost.

Why claim compensation?

Claiming personal injury compensation can help ease some of the problems you’ll experience after being burnt, and help in a number of ways:

  • It’s your legal right, and fairly compensates you for injuries that were not your fault.
  • It can pay for private medical treatment and rehabilitation therapies to speed your recovery.
  • If you are prevented from working again it can make up for lost income now and in the future.

There is no financial cost to make a claim – you will never be charged if it does not succeed. A successful claim will lead to a compensation settlement being made to you, with the value of the claim including any lost income and incurred costs as well as a settlement for the injuries and medical treatment that you have sustained.

Your solicitor will also look to help you to recover more quickly by obtaining rehabilitation therapy at the expense of the 3rd party (your employer’s insurers). This could also include private specialist treatments to reduce the appearance of a scar, or help with health issues caused by damage to the skin. Further information on this will be available from your solicitor once your claim has been started, you can also check out our article, “Claiming compensation for burn injuries”.

When you can claim

Usually a claim has to be made within three years of the accident, unless the injured party was under 18. In the majority of cases, claims succeed if employer negligence can be proved and the accident was not your fault. Employers must ensure:

  • That staff are adequately qualified to use any tools or machinery that they are asked to use.
  • The tools and machinery that staff are tasked with using are fit for purpose, by way of regular servicing and repair of the same.
  • That any tools or machinery that are faulty are removed from use and only returned to active service once fully repaired.
  • That any noxious or dangerous chemicals are handled in compliance with the ‘Controls of Substances Hazardous to Health’ (COSSH) guidelines, and that chemicals are stored and controlled accordingly.

Burn injuries may be caused by fire, chemicals, electricity, contact with hot substances or exposure to radiation. Any person is entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation if they suffer a burn in these or similar circumstances.

How much you can claim for a burn injury

All claims are comprised of general and special damages. General damages apply to the injury itself and the suffering you experience. This will usually depend on the severity, or classification (first, second or third degree), of your burn. Special damages cover the financial costs you incur as a result of the injury. This would include medical fees, ongoing care, travel expenses and loss of income.

The total amount varies from case to case, but there are guidelines issued to solicitors by the courts. A first degree facial burn could have a value of up to £6,000, for example. Whereas a more severe, third degree facial burn could be more than ten times as much. The table below shows amounts for facial disfigurement, obviously burns to other, less visible parts of the body can attract lesser amounts.

Severity of injuryCompensation amount
Very severe scarring, with permanent disfigurement and psychological effects£22,625 - £81,400
Less severe scarring, where disfigurement is still substantial with a significant psychological reaction£13,650 - £40,480
Significant scarring which remains visible at conversational distances£6,925 - £25,160
Less significant scarring which remains visible on close inspection£3,000 - £11,500
Trivial scarring where the effect is minor£1,300 - £2,940

How Direct2Compensation can help with your claim

Direct2Compensation are experts in managing claims for injuries caused in accidents at work. We know your rights and can help you to understand whether the specifics of your accident mean you can hold your employer liable.

It is important to make sure that the details of your workplace accident have been recorded properly within an employer’s accident book and that medical attention is sought for any burns you sustained. If you haven’t done this already, we can help you to do so.

Direct2Compensation work with some of the best expert accident at work solicitors in the UK. With our easy to understand claims process and ability to handle your claim quickly, simply and transparently, there are many reasons that make us the right choice when it comes to starting your claim for injury compensation.

If you have suffered a burn injury at work and want to know if you can make a claim for compensation, contact us today. You can start your claim online or request a call back, and one of our expert team will be in touch to offer help. Alternatively, call us on 01225 430285.

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Questions & Answers


  1. Cherille

    My son was badly burnt on his face while at work but it happened on 17th November 2013 is this to late to make a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If your Son was over the age of 18 at the time of his injury, he is not able to make a claim at this stage as more than 3 years has passed since the date of the accident in which he was burned.

      Reply
  2. Kieran

    I burnt myself in work on a ‘de carb’ machine. I am untrained on the machine but have used it multiple times. I was wearing the safety glove, but the water which is mixed with chemicals has managed to splash down my arm. The water sits at around 90 degrees and once I burnt myself I ran it under cold water and put burn gel and bandages around it.

    However, around an hour later, I was informed by my Manager that he wanted to take me to Hospital I didn’t refuse, nor did I agree and I said I feel fine. The details of this injury have not been put in the accident book as there isn’t one provided, nor is anyone first aid trained. I did eventually attend Hospital that night where the burn was sterilised and new dressings were applied.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Your description of the cause of your injury indicates employer negligence. UK law requires that all employers and employees adhere to the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act and follow safe working guidelines. As such, your employer should not have allowed you to operate the machine without having ensured that you had received the correct training and guidance to use it safely. As they did not, you may well succeed with a claim for compensation against your employer.

      If you would like to take this further and find out more about how we can help you, please call us on 01225430285.

      Reply
  3. Mandy white

    I was trying to light the gas fryer at work, it wasn’t working and the manager had left and said she would be back soon. I couldn’t light it so I told her, she said try this try that, I still couldn’t so I got help from another member of staff – he moved some things around and asked me to light it, I tried to then the gas explosion happened. It left me with second degree burns to both arms, right hand, my left leg, minor burns to my face and singed my hair, and has had a major effect on my mental heath and well being, what am I entitled to? She said I’m not entitled to sick pay because I’m self employed but she has offered to pay me sick pay out of her money, should I make a compensation claim? Please help me.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You will not be entitled to sick pay if you are self-employed and your only real option is to make a claim for personal injury compensation. It would appear that the gas fryer you were working with was unsafe and it could be that the employer hasn’t had it maintained or serviced as she should do.

      We would be happy to help you make a claim for compensation and explain the process to you. Given the injuries you have to both arms, your hand, leg and the mental health aspect of this incident, claiming compensation will not only see you achieve a settlement (if you are successful) but will also enable you to access specialist rehabilitation therapies, which could greatly benefit your recovery.

      Reply
  4. Tamzin

    Thank you. During work we have to line up to get toast for our guests while carrying trays full of teas/coffees/hot water. When I was in the line my colleague next to me burned himself on someone else’s tray causing him to jump making the tray unbalanced which then spilt all over me. I have one big second degree burn going down from my elbow to my wrist and another second degree burn on my hand. Do you think I can claim?

    Reply
  5. Liza

    My friend recently had an accident at work where her colleague spilt a tray of boiling hot water over her is she entitled to help?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      The details of the scalding injuries sustained by your friend in her accident at work should be recorded in the employer’s accident book to ensure that a proper record is retained and that evidence is available to support any future claim. We would be happy to assist your friend in claiming compensation for the injuries sustained.

      Reply
  6. Tamzin

    Hello, my question is should I tell my manager I’ve put in a claim?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      You do not have to inform your manager as it is a private matter. However, if you are on good terms with your manager you can advise them that you are claiming against the employers insurance for the injuries you have sustained.

      Reply
  7. Patrick

    2 years ago I was involved in an accident which resulted into blistering burns on my toes and onto my foot, this is because after repeated asking for safety shoes to be provided I was simply told there was no money left in the budget for uniform. Because of this during my daily tasks within a kitchen environment I had to clean the floor I.e pour water out of a boiler on the floor then clean it. However upon doing so the water splashed back and went over the top of my shoes which were not safety shoes provided by the company. After being sent home for my injuries and have 1-2 days off work I submitted a accident report form. Subsequently the manager the purchased me safety shoes after my accident report had been submitted. I do have evidence of the invoice for the date of which they were purchased, however the manager at the time fraudulently filled the date in wrong on the sheet (apparently he bought them for me in 1970…) I also have pictures of the burns to my feet. Although effectively I was responsible for using boiling water on the floor it was one of my job roles to do so, but I would like to claim on the basis of manager negligence as he had not provided me the correct footwear.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      This is certainly a claim that can be considered and looked in to further. The issue you cite regarding the date of the purchase of the safety shoes should not be an issue.

      We would like to know more about this so it would be wise for you to make further contact and discuss this possible claim with us. Please call us on 01225430285 or use the ‘start a claim’ page of our website to make an online enquiry.

      Reply
  8. Gary

    What if manager train you the wrong way and you get hurt? Because she told me to pick up the Fried Chicken Basket, she said it was hot, got third-degree Burns, don’t know what to do next – workers compensation accepted my claim.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If you are injured in an accident at work because you have been given training that is incorrect and caused you to suffer injury, you can pursue a claim for compensation against the employer.

      Reply
  9. Caroline

    I work in a kitchen, on opening the steamer I took out the food and the water on top of the lid spilt all over my arm causing a severe burn. My employer is making me feel like I am fault, do I have a claim as I followed all the instructions, ran my arm under cold tap and did not realise how bad it was, but it has blistered half of my arm and is quite painful, I don’t know what to do.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      It would be sensible to make further contact with us by using the start a claim page of our website. Our expert staff will discuss the accident with you and the nature of your work, what training you have received and identify whether or not the employer has been negligent in this matter. It could well be that you do have a valid claim for accident at work compensation and by talking with you, we’ll be able to identify whether or not that is the case.

      Reply
  10. Anthony Milburn

    Hi there
    I burnt my toe whilst working from home for my employer. The burn is serious and i have been having treatment fir 3 months, but may need a skin graft.

    Whilst working from home the small office space I have was reduced due to building works to repair a leak. It was cold and I had a heater on, and in the cramped conditions i burnt my toe on the heater and being diabetic with Neuropathy to my feet, i didnt realise I was injured until the burn was really bad.

    Would there be any grounds for redress ?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Sadly I do not think that your employer would have responsibility for the injury you have sustained. Whilst you were working, it is likely that the courts would say that you did not have to work from home during the period of building works and that it would not be reasonable to apportion ‘blame’ on your employer for you burning your toe on your heater.

      Reply
  11. Em

    I burnt myself at work (2nd degree burn.) The manager on shift’s first aid certificate ran out so he didn’t record it in the accident book.
    The next day a more senior manager redressed my burn and we had an informal discussion about what duties I could still carry out as I work in a kitchen so was wary of anything too hot/wet or dirty.
    Another manager asked me to do one of the jobs that I had been told not to do, and we argued about it.
    I am now suspended and facing dismissal for gross insubordination. This doesn’t seem right considering I only refused to save myself further Injury/infection.
    What are my rights here?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Under UK law it will depend on what your Doctor has stated as being appropriate work or anything you must avoid. Essentially, if you have been deemed first to work, your employer is able to instruct you to perform any duty that you are able to do – but under UK law, an employer cannot cause you to worsen an injury or risk your health.

      Reply
  12. Joe

    I was burnt on my back whilst working as a customer had dropped his money so as I went to pick it up he accidentally dropped a coffee on my back. However there was not trained supervisor with us because we were understaffed and me and the other member of staff are both 17. Do I have grounds to claim? I have been to the A&E department Saturday and Sunday. Should the machine that makes the hot drinks make them hot enough to cause substantial burns on my back?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      There are two possible issues that could give rise to you pursuing a claim for compensation in this matter. Firstly, the temperature of the liquid from the machine. If it is producing temperatures of liquid that can cause such severe burns, the machine should carry a warning or could be defective.
      Secondly, you mention a lack of trained supervisors on duty.

      Of course, we need to speak with you further to find out a little more about the incident, what has been reported etc, but our initial view is that we should present a claim enquiry for you to our Solicitors in order that they can properly advise you. To that end, why not use our ‘start a claim’ page to make a detailed enquiry to us?

      Reply
  13. Gabriela

    Can i claim if i burned my foot with the boiled water from the steamer at work? I’ve been told by the supervisor to go and drain the excess in the toilet as it was too much water in it and that’s where the incident happend

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If the incident has been recorded in the employers accident book and medical treatment has been obtained for the burn, then yes, you could make a claim.

      If you would like to discuss this further, please call us on 01225430285.

      Reply
  14. Michael

    Hi I was injured at work I burned myself with hot liquid after taking a tray of hot food out of the oven that slipped of a shelf and burnt my arm. I reported it in the accident book and gave myself first aid on the spot. I didn’t take time off work or see a Doctor but I now have scars.

    I should add that we have also reported problems with the work place that haven’t been made right for months so it seems like my employer who is the local council are being negligent towards our health and safety.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      We would like to speak to you regarding your injury at work as there could well be a claim to pursue here. Although you have not attended the GP, the accident book report will provide useful evidence to support any claim that could be made.

      We need to know more about the accident that lead to your burn injury so that we can ascertain whether or not you have a valid claim, so we would recommend further contact with us.

      Reply
  15. Josh

    I got burnt whilst working as an agency chef, from my chin to my groin 20% of my body. I slipped on grease on the kItchen floor in the clean up area. I was carrying 10 litres of boiling water. I did not have safety shoes on it the manager was aware of this as I was waiting to get paid to get mine. I am off work I am in pain and I am a mess emotionally and physically. Whilst waiting for paramedics they got me to sign the accident book stating it was my fault as well, I feel I was in shock at this time.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      We would like to discuss this further with you and believe that it is worthwhile pursuing a claim against your employer in this matter.

      Reply
  16. Ben Smith

    I was scalded in the face and suffered whiplash when a tap at work exploded boiling in my face, this tap had no caution hot water signs above it and was never or very rarely checked for faults, could my employer be at fault here?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Our initial view is that you have a valid claim for workplace injury compensation here and we would be happy to pursue this further for you. If the employer cannot demonstrate that they have an adequate maintenance and inspection regime in place regarding the plumbing within the workplace, they could struggle to defend any claim.

      Reply
    • Ben Smith

      Is it breaking health and safety laws if a workplace doesn’t put up caution hot water signs next to hot water taps? I’m strongly thinking about putting a claim in for a burn injury from a faulty tap, thanks.

      Reply
  17. Hannah

    Hi, i recently got a facial burn at work whilst making gravy. I was covering the chef while they were on a break and we were really busy and short staffed.

    We currently have no manager so i have been trying to cover both my own role as well as the manager role.

    I was taken to a & e because we had no burn gel on site. I was treated for 2nd degree burns to my face. I was phoned by my boss to return to work the next day as they were struggling without me. I felt pressured to go in even though medical advise told me not to.

    When i have looked at my training records when filling in the incident form at work i noticed i have not been signed off for anything.

    My boss is coming tomorrow to look at it. What would your advise be?

    I am worried because we have no manager im not sure what i should do.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If you have not been given the right training to work in the kitchen, the cause of your injury is a result of employer negligence and as such, you could well have a valid claim for accident at work compensation.

      Regarding returning to work, you really MUST follow medical advice and not allow your concerns about your employer to cloud your judgement as to when to return to work. When speaking with your employer, you needn’t make any mention of any potential action you could take as a result of the injury and should simply talk about the lack of sufficient staff and any lack of training provision.

      We would be happy to further investigate a possible claim for you as a result of this accident at work. If you would like to take this further, please contact us. We’ll then present a claim enquiry to our specialist burn injury at work Solicitors who can then discuss your claim with you in detail.

      Reply
  18. Jabu

    I’ve got injured at work. I was wearing the correct PEP due to that we didn’t have fire Jacket and the employer said they still on order and the face shield got broken while I was busy trying to light a boiler. So as a result of my injury. I’ve got burnt on my face and both arms. Is it my fault or employers fault?

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      If the employer has provided you with all of the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure that you are fully trained and qualified to perform your duties, it will be hard to succeed with a claim against them.

      However, if the employer has in any way been negligent and failed to provide the right training or PPE equipment, then you could succeed with a claim.

      It sounds as though you didn’t have the right fire jacket on and if so, you could well be able to claim for the burns to your arms. However, if you damaged the face shield through your own ‘negligence’ there could be an element of contributory negligence that would have to be accepted for the burn to your face.

      It would be useful for us to speak with you so that we can get a better understanding of the incident and then give you a more ‘qualified’ view of whether or not you can make a claim.

      Reply
  19. Fran

    Good evening,
    5 weeks ago I had an accident at work. I work in a kitchen and I was doing the washing up like every afternoon. Next to the sink sits a fryer on top of a counter. Somehow the base of the fryer caught in one of my colleagues back pocket and when he moved the hot oil fell on me. I burned my right arm, side, buttock and thigh down to my knee.
    I got some more superficial burns and some deeper ones, one of which is still healing.
    Nobody really knew what to do as first aid, they only applied some gauzes with soothing gel until the paramedics arrived.
    On my first week off work it sounded like I was going to get full pay no matter how long I was going to stay home, which made me think they were being nice to me and I didn’t want to make a claim even if lots of people thought I should. But the more time went by the more things changed. I’ve been given SSP from week two and I really struggled all these weeks. I was told more than once that I was lucky because they didn’t want to fire me even if they could’ve and somehow I felt like they were pushing me to get back to work even if they weren’t being open about it, saying they would have to hire someone else while I was at home and that they weren’t sure they could still give me SSP even with an extension of my sick note.
    I felt incredibly stressed out, with next to no money, my family doesn’t understand what I’m going through and almost belittle the situation. I have panic attacks, struggle to sleep and I can’t erase from my mind all the physical pain I went through and still feel.

    Can you give me some good advice?
    Thanks a lot

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Fran

      It is understandable that you didn’t want to have to go down the route of claiming compensation from your employer for the injuries you have sustained. No worker wants to have to take action against an employer.

      However, given what you have said, I think you have both a viable and more importantly a very just claim for compensation. I appreciate that you may have concerns about making a claim and how the whole process works. I think it would be a good idea for us to have a chat on the telephone so that I can give you a proper opinion and then answer any queries or worries you may have. To this end, please email your contact number to me (ian@direct2compensation.co.uk) and I’ll call you to discuss things in detail.

      Yours sincerely

      Reply
  20. Robert

    Hi i had an accident at work a few weeks ago where i burned my arm in a 100° alkalyne decarbonizer that i was not trained or signed off on, and my employer wrote out a back to work form. He said if i claim he will sack me on the spot , are there any way that a back to work form states that the accident was my fault ? I have now made a claim and lost my job.

    Reply
    • Ian Morris

      Robert

      Thank you for taking the time to inform us of your situation and ask for some advice about your recent accident at work. It certainly sounds like your former employer has behaved in an underhanded manner and failed to offer you any kind of fairness or adequate support. I am pleased that you have already started a claim – it sounds like you have a very strong claim (which is probably why your former employer has treated you so badly).

      I would not really be able to comment on the back to work form regarding who is at fault as I would need to see the form to offer any sensible advice. However, the form should be available to you to view and therefore you should seek a copy of the form at the earliest opportunity and check it to ensure that it is an honest representation of what happened, what was said and that you agree with the contents.

      Reply
      • Robert

        Hi ian thanks for you’re reply, a got a fonecall off my boss saying i singed a waver stating its my fault but my boss wrote the whole thing he said he would sack me if i didnt sign it he didnt let have a look at it either.

        Reply
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