Of the many risks that maritime employees face, some of the dangers may seem a little less expected than others. For example, maritime employees often suffer from a higher rate of chemical burn injury than almost any other industry employee.
Both weather and potential mechanical issues come into play in determining these increased risks. But exactly how do they impact employees?
Burn severity by degree
U.S. News discusses some of the most common types of maritime accidents. Among them, chemical burns rank surprisingly high. As with burns caused by fire or steam, chemical burns get graded on a scale from first, second to third-degree burns. The level of the burn indicates how much damage has occurred with both the outermost layer of skin, as well as the tissues and organs underneath.
First-degree burns hold the lowest severity. Though painful, they only affect the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of skin. The skin will likely turn red or blister, and the pain may last for a while. However, first-degree burns almost always heal fully and rarely ever have any form of complication.
Second-degree burns hold middling tier severity. These partial-thickness burns enter the second layer of the skin or the dermis. Swelling, blistering and scarring will likely occur at this stage, and some of this damage may never fully heal without scar tissue forming.
Third-degree burns, or full-thickness burns, have the highest level of severity. With this, damage to underlying tissue occurs, such as muscles and organs. Permanent nerve damage may dampen your ability to feel, and the skin of this area could turn black or white.
Causes of chemical burns
Some of the items that cause chemical burns include metal cleaners, pool chlorinators, battery acid, ammonia, drain cleaners and bleach. It is crucial to treat contact and overexposure to such chemicals quickly.