Every employment industry has its own inherent risks for employee injuries. Firefighting is no exception. If you are considering a career as a firefighter, you should understand the greatest risks for injury.
There are a few key hazards to be attentive to.
Cuts and scrapes are common
Firefighters spend time in dangerous and unpredictable environments. This often leads to cuts and scrapes. While most cuts and scrapes do not lead to workers’ compensation claims, a serious cut that damages tendons or becomes infected could interfere with your ability to work.
Sprains or strains often occur
For many firefighters, the visibility reduction of the helmet paired with smoke and flames can make it difficult to see well enough to move safely. This often leads to sprains and strains that disrupt mobility and can keep a firefighter off duty until they recover.
Smoke inhalation is a work environment hazard
Although firefighters typically wear respiration masks with air tanks, there are instances where smoke exposure leads to inhalation issues. The toxins in smoke can increase cancer risks, lead to allergic reactions and trigger lung and respiratory problems. Long-term health risks and injuries may result.
Burns are occupational hazards
Fighting fires puts everyone involved at risk of thermal injuries. Burn severity can vary depending on the nature of the burn, but some can interfere with your ability to continue working.
These are some of the most common reasons for workers’ compensation claims for firefighters. Protect your rights if you get injured fighting fires, especially if you experience one of these injuries.