An Experienced Cement Burn Attorney Can Help You Recover
Cement is vital in many construction and industrial settings. However, this material can prove hazardous for those who handle it. Wet cement that comes into contact with the skin can cause burns, permanent disfigurement, and may require amputation. If you have been injured on the job, a cement burn attorney at our San Diego, CA, law firm is here to provide legal assistance and seek compensation for your injuries and suffering. The damages you can win may be a lifeline in helping you cope with injuries. For over three decades, San Diego Injury Lawyer has been helping burn victims and construction accident victims receive the damages they need to move forward with their lives.
The Dangers of Cement
Cement mix is composed of a number of chemicals including iron, calcium, aluminum, and silicon. Cement powder combined with crushed rock or another aggregate creates a mixture that reacts with water and hardens permanently. The chemical in cement mix that poses the greatest danger is calcium oxide. In its dry state calcium oxide is relatively harmless. When combined with water, calcium oxide becomes calcium hydroxide. This chemical is very basic, or alkaline, with a pH of 12 to 13 (on a scale up to pH 14). Trace amounts of hexavalent chromium, a toxin that is harmful to the skin, are also found in cement. The reactions caused by these different substances can result in caustic burns that cause significant physical damage.
Damaging Side Effects
Alkaline burns can be very serious, causing damage even after cement has been washed from the skin. Victims may be exposed and sustain irreversible damage to their skin and other tissues, and not know it. By the time the victims is aware of the injury, it is difficult to mitigate the damage. Because of the strength of the alkaline in cement, concrete burns can result in third- or fourth-degree burns. Skin can be damaged down to the deepest layer, sometimes affecting fatty tissue and the bone. Workers can also sustain eye burns from contact with cement or vapors that become airborne and irritate the eyes. In addition, concrete mix has the tendency to wick moisture out of the skin and can induce cell death. Skin cell death can lead to gangrene, a devastating skin condition that may require amputation of the affected extremities.
Signs of Wet Cement Burns
Cement burns may not appear for hours after the initial exposure. Signs of cement burn include:
- Itchy, dry, flaking, or oozing skin
- Red, or purplish-blue skin
- Ulcers, blisters, or lesions
- Wheals (itchy red circles with a white center)
Burns may not seem serious at first, but can continue to grow worse over time. If you have sustained any injury from cement, it is essential to seek help right away.
Our attorneys can help you understand the protections that should have been in place for cement and how to fight for your deserved compensation for pain and suffering.
Who Is At Risk?
Anyone who handles cement can suffer chemical burn from cement exposure. Individuals who handle it infrequently, such as when performing at-home projects, can sustain injury. However, those at greatest risk are workers who use wet cement day in and out, such as:
- Construction workers laying concrete foundations
- Plasterers erecting walls in a building
- Swimming pool installers
- Cement masons and concrete finishers
- Bricklayers mixing cement into mortar
In some cement burn cases, employers may not have provided a sufficiently safe environment for employees. Either safety training may have been inadequate, or the proper safety tools were not provided. Even when a worker follows safety guidelines, there remains the possibility of exposure in a variety of ways, such as if the wet cement breaches protective gear, and gets into gloves or boots. Our attorneys can help you understand the protections that should have been in place for cement and how to fight for your deserved compensation for pain and suffering.
Legal Help for Burn Victims
If you or a loved one have suffered a cement burn, San Diego Injury Lawyer can provide a free case review. Call us today at (619) 272-4028, or use our online form to begin seeking legal representation.