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Workplace Burns

According to the American Burn Association, over 40,000 hospitalizations per year are caused by burns obtained in the home and workplace. This week, February 7-13, 2021, is National Burn Awareness Week. Educate and protect your workplace from burn injuries by sharing the following information:

TYPES OF WORKPLACE BURNS

Thermal Burns: Burns caused by open flames, hot objects, explosions, or hot liquids resulting in “scalding” burns. Thermal burns can be prevented by wearing Personal Protective Equipment, using fire prevention tactics, and having procedures and emergency action plans.

Chemical Burns: When the skin or eyes come into contact with strong acids, alkaloids, or other corrosive or caustic materials that eat away or “burn” skin and deeper tissue. To help prevent chemical burns, make sure all workers are well-versed in Hazard Communication, which covers the symbols and labels that will communicate chemical risk.

Electrical Burns: Current travels through the body and meets tissue resistance, resulting in heat burn injuries. To prevent electrical burns, make sure any high-voltage areas and machinery are clearly marked. Workers should identify live wires and avoid contact with water while working with electricity, and wear the proper personal protective equipment.

BURN CLASSIFICATION AND TREATMENT

First Degree Burn: Causes redness. Sunburn is an example of a first degree burn.

Second Degree Burn: Causes redness, swelling, and blistering. For swelling and blistering, place burned area in cold, still (not running) water. Never puncture a blister. Seek medical treatment immediately if second degree burn covers more than one fifth of the body or if the burn has affected the face, hands, feet, or genitalia.

Third Degree Burn: Charred, blackened, or blanched skin. Immediately seek medical treatment by calling 911. While awaiting professional help, make sure any fire is out and/or remove the victim from the burn source. DO NOT REMOVE ANY CLOTHING OR APPLY ANY DRESSINGS. Treat for shock and make sure the victim is still breathing.

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