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Burn Injury

Accommodation and Compliance: Burn Injury

About Burn Injury

Burn injuries are classified in three ways: first, second, and third degree. First degree burns involve only the top layer of skin and are characterized by pain, redness, and swelling. Second degree burns involve the first and second layer of skin and are characterized by blistering of the skin, redness, and swelling and are very painful. Third degree burns are the most severe and often result in extensive scarring. They can require a long recovery time and may result in severe limitations.

Burn Injury and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

Accommodating Employees with Burn Injury

People with burn injuries may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people with burn injuries will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations is the employee experiencing?
  2. How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
  5. Has the employee been consulted regarding possible accommodations?
  6. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  7. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training?

Key Accommodations

  • Limiting lifting, reaching, pushing, and pulling by job restructuring
  • Using Proper Lifting Techniques 
  • Reallocating lifting duties, if marginal
  • Providing assistance moving objects, to reduce weight
  • Organizing items in a way that reduces the need to move or lift items
  • Reducing weight to be lifted by separating items into smaller groups
  • Reassigning an employee to a modified duty position or modifying duties by removing the lifting duties            
  • Periodic rest breaks to get up and move around 
  • Modified break schedule so that you can stretch your legs when needed
    • Using break reminder software to remember to get-up and move around
  • Alternating between sitting and standing while working by using a sit/stand workstation
  • Ergonomic/adjustable office chair
  • Work at home, where employee can lie down, sit, stand, move freely
     

Accommodation Ideas:

Situations and Solutions:

Events Regarding Burn Injury