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Cement Burn

New York Cement Burn Lawyers Who Aggressively Fight for Injury Victims

Cement burn is a common construction industry condition, yet cement burn victims often put up with the pain, skin blisters, bleeding, skin discoloration, deadened skin cells, even gangrene on the legs, knees, ankles, feet, arms and hands, due to the third-degree burns cement can cause. As longtime workers compensation injury attorneys, we know that anyone who handles cement day to day can suffer the chemical burn of cement exposure, from construction workers laying concrete foundations, to bricklayers mixing cement into mortar, to plasterers putting up walls in a new building, to cement mixers themselves. Cement burn injury occurs because cement, particularly Portland cement, contains a caustic alkaline binding compound that can cause severe skin damage with minor exposure. Pain on contact often does not occur, so construction site laborers might not even know they've been injured by cement. Eye burn also can occur, as alkaline cement vapors can become airborne and irritate workers' eyes.

Why does cement burn skin?

It’s very common for construction workers who handle cement to experience burns on their skin/hands and other parts of their body. The combination of chemical components in concrete can cause it to act as an acid, eating away at the outer layers of the skin, or epidermis, resulting in blistering, which sometimes weeps and has blood oozing from them. Healthcare workers in hospital burn units see cement burns frequently, though often cement burn victims don't come in until their skin has eroded into deeper subcutaneous layers. Construction workers may get cement in their boots, kneel in wet cement, or have it inside gloves on their hands, but keep working in order to get the job done before the cement dries. The risk is that cement will begin to kill skin cells as well, which can lead to gangrene, a devastating skin condition that can result in the amputation of fingers, toes, even limbs.

How long do cement burns take to appear?

Cement burns don’t typically cause immediate pain or visible symptoms. The onset of symptoms can vary depending on your skin sensitivity, the duration of exposure, and the conditions of exposure. It can take several hours or a day after the burn injury to notice symptoms. Sometimes, it can take up to 48 hours. Given the potential for delayed symptoms, it’s important to thoroughly wash and clean any skin that comes in contact with wet cement, even if no immediate symptoms are present.

How are cement burns treated?

If you sustained a cement burn on the job, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention. If left untreated, your burn injury can cause more serious complications, such as prolonged irritation and infection.

Cement burn treatment may include:

  • Cleaning the affected area
  • Applying topical creams
  • Medication to manage pain
  • Monitoring for infection
  • Antibiotics to prevent infection
  • Hydration and nutrition
  • The use of bandages
  • In severe cases, debridement and skin graft

How long does it take for cement burns to heal?

The time it takes for a cement burn to heal often depends on the severity of the burn. When properly treated, minor cement burns can heal within a week or two. Moderate burns might take several weeks to heal with proper wound care, cleaning, and appropriate bandage dressing.

Severe cement burns that cause deep tissue damage, ulcers, and infections may take several months to fully heal. These burns often require surgery and skin grafting. In some cases, injured workers need to undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation.

What compensation am I eligible for after a job-related cement burn?

The compensation you’re eligible for depends on who was responsible for your cement burn. If you sustained a cement burn on the job, you can pursue workers’ compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault. This includes compensation for medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages while you rest and recover.

If your cement burn was caused by a third party (someone other than your employer), you may be able to pursue a third-party claim against them. This type of claim requires you to prove that negligence occurred. For example, your cement burn may be linked to the negligence of a contractor, subcontractor, or machine manufacturer. If successful, a third-party claim could provide compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and money for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.

New York Cement Burn Lawyers Who Pursue the Compensation Clients Need

The chemical mix that causes cement burn can vary from one cement truck batch to another, but its most dangerous ingredients are sodium and potassium oxides which, in combination with water, form alkali hydroxides that cause skin and limb damage. These hydroxides (referred to as caustic soda, caustic potash or lye) attack any animal or vegetable matter with which they come into contact.

If you suffered cement burn, don't hesitate-contact the New York Law Offices of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP today so we can pursue justice on your behalf. We have dedicated over 90 years to helping injured workers in New York get the justice they deserve. Call us at (800) 692-3717 or contact us online for a free evaluation today.