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Workplace Fires

According to the National Business Group on Health, workplace fires resulted in 3% of workplace fatalities in recent years. The majority of the injuries sustained in the workplace as a result of fire involve the hand. The hand is one of the most unique parts of the human body; depending on the burn, medical professional are highly unlikely to return the hand to full usage after a burn. Nerve damage, particularly in the fingers, is likely to become a lifelong affliction and severely impacts both the ability to hold a job and maintain a high quality of life.

Burns can damage cells and nerve endings that are difficult and expensive to repair, and the damage might be too much for any repair at all. If a skin graft, meaning the application of other skin to the damaged area, is applicable, it can lead to multiple surgeries. Skin grafts require that the new skin and appendage not be moved for up to 5 days to allow the adhesion of the new skin. This process can wear on the physical and emotional state of the victim and require them to undertake physical therapy or training to adjust their life. Those suffering from severe injuries may have a difficult time leaving the hospital and preparing to face life outside.

Workplace fires can also have a psychological impact on the victim leading to shock. Despite regulations requiring fire extinguishers and large exits in the workplace, in times of panic and large fires people have trouble comprehending the situation. Even after the person has been removed from the initial fire, they remain at risk for problems related to smoke inhalation and shock.

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