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Burn injuries are prevalent in the oil and gas drilling industry

The oil and gas drilling industry has inherent dangers that could be life-threatening. The rapid pace at which oil is extracted in North Dakota makes oilfield workers vulnerable. This is because companies often prioritize profits over safety -- a value system that frequently results in severe workplace injuries. Along with many other hazards, there will always be a risk of explosions and serious burn injuries to workers in this industry.

Burn injuries can also be caused by chemicals, sunlight, electricity and radiation, and smoke inhalation can damage the lungs. Burns are classified according to severity, with first-degree burns only involving damage to the skin's outer layer. Burn wounds classified as second-degree are those in which the next layer of skin is also damaged, and third-degree burns are the most severe injuries that destroy all the layers of the skin.

Depending on the severity of the burn injuries, blistering, swelling and scarring can result. In more serious cases, the victim can go into shock and may even die. Once the skin is damaged by fire, there will be the danger of infections, which can be treated with antibiotic creams. However, deep wounds will need constant cleaning and, in many cases, skin replacements are required.

Treatment of burn injuries can be costly and time-consuming -- particularly if skin grafts must be done. Fortunately, the North Dakota workers' compensation system provides benefits to eligible workers. Medical expenses and lost income are typically included in the benefits the insurance program offers, and experienced legal counsel can assist with the claims proceedings.

Source: medlineplus.gov, "Burns", Accessed on Dec. 15, 2017

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