Searing Sidewalks Causing Horrific Injuries
Recent heat waves around the country, including here in Georgia, as stoked by the climate crisis, have led to a spike in contact burns from asphalt and concrete almost as hot as boiling water. Not only has this exposure led to heat-related injuries and deaths, including heat exhaustion and serious heat stroke, but severe contact burns from superheated pavements and other surfaces as well.
Temperatures in Georgia reached above 100F this summer, but even on a 98F day, sustained contact with the sidewalk can result in third degree burns, or even kill someone. A number of these burns are sustained by individuals who work outside; As a result, this issue has serious implications for employers in terms of ensuring that their employees are safe on the job.
Why It Is So Dangerous
While contact burns can affect anyone, it is the especially young and old who face heightened risks in terms of complications, alongside those who work and/or live outside and those who may be unaware of their surroundings, such as individuals under the influence.
Asphalt, concrete, rocks, and sidewalks all get hot; not just due to the ambient temperature; but also due to direct sunlight. As a result, the temperature of hot asphalt can get up to 170 or 180 degrees on a day when it is 100 degrees outside, which is just below the boiling point of water.
What makes these burns especially destructive is that when most objects that are hot come into contact with skin, they cool, concrete does not, and the damage can happy quickly: It takes only a fraction of a second to get a deep, deep burn, and internal injuries can follow; injuries to the central nervous system, spinal cord, liver or kidney failure, and more. As a result, the repercussions that come from the burns can actually cause more problems than even the initial burn, where serious burn victims have to be placed in drug-induced comas in order to undergo surgery and skin grafting. The healing process is far from quick, and hospital stays can be lengthy.
If You’ve Been Badly, Burned, Contact Our Macon, Georgia Burn Injury Attorneys
If a construction company employer fails to properly protect its workers, and those workers suffer burn injuries as a result, including from negligently coming into contact with asphalt, the employer can be held accountable.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by burn injury, it is critical that you speak with a burn injury attorney right away in order to ensure that you have what you need to recover. The Macon burn injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Buzzell, Welsh & Hill are here to help: Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and find out more.