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Burns and Scarring Claims

If you’ve suffered burns or scarring at work, get in touch with our expert team today to see if you could make a claim for compensation.

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Burns and Scarring Claims

It’s not just exposure to extremes of temperature as part of an employee’s day-to-day duties that can lead to a burn injury.  Across all sectors, there are hazards in the workplace that pose a risk of burns.

Typical examples of accidents in which burns can be sustained include:

  • Sudden or long-term exposure to very high or very low temperatures
  • Exposure to dangerous chemicals or fumes
  • Electric shocks
  • Food and drink spillages
  • Improperly prepared or managed working space (for example in kitchens)
  • Malfunctioning machinery or work equipment
  • Defective facilities in the workplace (eg cooking facilities and electrical appliances)
  • Fires in the workplace

Burn injuries are typically divided into scaled categories of severity:

First-Degree burns – ‘superficial’ burns affecting only the outermost layer of skin (epidermis)

Second-Degree burns –Burns involving the epidermis and, to an extent, the second layer of skin (dermis)

Third-Degree burns – these burns destroy the dermis and epidermis, and may affect the tissue beneath     

Fourth-Degree burns – burns that destroy the layers of skin and also damage underlying tissue, tendons and bones.  Nerve endings are destroyed.


The most serious burn injuries can be disfiguring and have devastating permanent effects on the lives of those affected.

Your employer has a duty under UK law to take steps in preventing their employees being injured in the course of their duties. If you have suffered a burn injury in an accident at work that wasn’t your fault, then your employees could be responsible if they:

  • Did not take necessary steps to prevent the accident
  • Did not properly maintain or control equipment
  • Failed to provide you or others involved with appropriate training
  • Failed to give you the right personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Exposed you to a foreseeable and avoidable risk
  • Did not properly assess the risks involved in the task you were carrying out when the accident happened
  • Did not take into account the abilities or competence of those assigned to the task

Work Claims Bureau director Michael Walker says:

“At their most serious, the effects of burns can be seen as more severe than other types of injury.  This is because they can lead to permanent pain and/or altered sensation, physical disfigurement, scarring and psychological trauma that can stem from both the accident itself and the long-term identity issues caused by the worst burn injuries we see.  

We have a proud record in helping those suffering burns in work accidents all over the UK.  As well as fighting for just awards for burn victims’ pain and suffering, we leave no stone unturned in making sure that other past and future expenses are accounted for.  These might include medical costs, home adaptations, travel costs, cosmetic surgery, therapy and rehabilitation and lost future earnings.”

Typical compensation awards for burn injuries

There are two elements to any award in a successful accident at work compensation claim: ‘general damages’ and ‘special damages’ (expenses and other material losses arising from the injuries). In cases of more severe injury, the award for ‘special damages’ can be greater than the award for the injury itself.

The severity of burns and any associated scarring can vary greatly.  Where the burns cover 40% of the body or more, the award for the injury alone is likely to exceed £83,550. Minor burns that recover relatively fully will attract much lower awards. The level of ‘general damages’ compensation a successful Claimant will receive depends on several factors, including:

  • The degree of burns sustained
  • The psychological impact of the burns
  • The scarring caused by the burns
  • The extent of surgery already undergone and that will be required in the future
  • The level of ongoing pain and discomfort
  • The level of disability and impaired function

Typical facial scarring awards

Minor facial injuries with no scarring and recovery within 3 months:  up to £2,150

Trivial facial scarring: £1,500 to £3,090

Less significant facial scarring: £3,460 to £12,050

Significant to severe facial scarring: £7,990 to £26,380

Very severe scarring with very significant disfigurement and severe pyschological reaction

£26,120 to £85,340

Typical Scarring awards (other parts of the body)

A single noticeable scar, or several superficial scars, of leg(s) or arm(s) or hand(s), with some minor cosmetic deficit: £2,080 to £6,870

A large proportion of awards for a number of noticeable laceration scars, or a single disfiguring scar, of leg(s) or arm(s) or hand(s) or back or chest: £6,870 to £19,930

For scarring to the face, please read our section on facial injuries

*based on the 14th edition of the Judicial College guidelines

Work Claims Bureau have years of experience in handling burn injury compensation claims. If you or someone you know has sustained such an injury in an accident at work, speak to one of our helpful team today on 0808 256 5184 or complete our online enquiry form.