You might have laughed if someone told you that they wanted to file for workers’ compensation for a severe sunburn in the past, but now that you’ve been in the same situation and unable to work, you know how serious one can be.
While sunburns are generally temporary, workers’ compensation may cover them in some instances, such as when you require medical care for exposure. Solar radiation is covered by workers’ compensation, according to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration. For this reason, all people who work outside should be provided with training about the dangers of the sun as well as with personal protective equipment when appropriate.
Sunburns aren’t the only potential danger from the sun
The sun can cause numerous significant health problems. Sunburns can be severe, and sun poisoning is possible. Skin cancer may also be a result of exposure. Approximately, 175,000 cases of melanoma are found per year in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
The sun often comes with intense heat, so remember that there are also other stress-related injuries that could occur, such as heat stress or heat exhaustion.
What should you do if you suffer a severe sunburn that requires medical attention?
In some severe instances, sunburns can be so bad that they require medical attention. Blisters can form on the skin, and the skin can swell. There is a chance that a worker would be unable to work for several days or longer if that happened to them.
In some cases, a patient with a severe sunburn will be admitted to the hospital burn unit. This is particularly likely if they have other symptoms accompanying the burn, such as fainting, a headache, vomiting or a high fever. Severe sunburns that may require medical treatment include those with:
- Nausea and chills
- Severe dehydration
- Unbearable or severe pain
- Blistering across the body (widespread)
- A high fever
- Confusion, vision problems or headaches
If you end up having to seek medical attention for exposure to the sun while you were at work, you may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation. At a minimum, the insurance coverage should cover the cost of your medical care and treatment as you recover.
While people don’t always think about sunburns being life-threatening or particularly dangerous, they can be. If you are unwell after being in the sun, make sure you know the signs of a severe burn and seek medical care if you need it.