You are among the group of employees who are most at risk of suffering a burn injury at work if you work in the following industries:
- Food service
- Electrical profession
- Mechanical production
Most workplace burns can be avoided, but how? Employers are required to create a safe work environment for their staff and may need to go the extra mile to create best practices to prevent workplace burn injuries and ensure that safety remains a priority.
An environment where employees may work without fear of injury would be great for everyone. However, many businesses or employees fail to implement potentially beneficial preventative measures. Learn how employers can do their part in preventing workplace burn accidents.
What Safety Procedures Help to Prevent Workplace Burn Injuries?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has compiled similar guidelines to eliminate the risk of workplace burn injuries:
- Reducing exposure to flames, chemicals, currents, etc. unless absolutely mandatory
- Removing combustible or flammable materials away from open flames or highly heated surfaces
- Performing safety checks on equipment before and after use
- Practicing safety etiquette around dangerous chemicals, open flames, or electrical tools
- Staying educated on how to properly treat burns in the workplace
- Storing chemicals at proper temperatures
- Have separate spaces for contaminated clothing, equipment, etc.
- Always follow label instructions
By establishing and enforcing standards, as well as by offering training, outreach, information, and help, employers make sure that employees work in a safe and healthy environment.
Employers are required to adhere to all applicable OSHA regulations. Additionally, they must adhere to the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which mandates that employers maintain their workplaces free of significant known dangers.
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Are There Different Types of Burns to Be Aware of?
The type of injury you might receive and your chance of sustaining one are both dependent on the particular job you perform each day. For example:
- Scalds account for more than half of the burn injuries reported by food preparation workers
- Thermal and radiation burns are more common among those in the manufacturing industry
- A large percentage of electrical burns occur among construction workers
Despite the harm that each form of burn causes, their causes may not be connected. The first step in preventing burn mishaps is educating workers on how they can get burned. Burns can be categorized as:
- Thermal burns: Caused by contact with hot objects
- Electrical burns: A result of electrical currents entering the body
- Chemical burns: Come from harmful chemicals like gases or liquids
- Radiation burns: After exposure to high-energy rays, like the sun or welding torches
What Is the Causation of Workplace Burns?
Workplace burns can be a result of several instances of poor judgment or careless behavior. Most often, burn injuries are due to someone’s negligence or a lack of protective gear.
A significant difference can be made through education, training, and job site organization. Chemicals, for instance, need to be safely labeled and kept. Near the location where hazardous chemicals are employed, first aid and eye wash stations should be placed.
Additionally, thermal burns can be decreased by enforcing fire safety procedures and keeping workers away from hot equipment or liquids. Any item that has the potential to burn someone should have a warning label on it or close by.
Lack of Protective Gear
Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be made available to protect against chemical and thermal burns. PPE includes:
- Masks/head covers
- Goggles/face shields
Any equipment that provides a barrier of protection to employees against contaminants, splatter, or infectious agents is considered proper equipment.
What Type of Equipment Is Needed to Prevent Workplace Burn Accidents?
The most common burns are thermal burns, accounting for 30% of workplace burn accidents. In order for employees to remain protected, it is crucial to know the physical location of where most workplace burn injuries occur. A study of workplace burns revealed that:
- 37% of workplace burns happen on the hands or fingers
- 27% occur on the lower arm or wrist region
- 12% of burn injuries are on the face
With such data, it is safe to conclude that long work gloves, arm protectors, and heavy-duty face and eye masks are a necessity to prevent worplace burn injuries from occuring.
Have You Suffered From a Workplace Burn Injury?
Legally, you can file a workers’ compensation claim if you suffer a burn injury at work. If your claim is denied or doesn’t provide adequate compensation, you’ll need a reputable workplace injury lawyer in Texas from the Buzbee Law Firm.
Employers must take precautions because burn accidents can be fatal. Workers should have protective equipment and the information necessary to prevent burn injuries, if not they can be reported to organizations like OSHA who exist to promote safe work environments.
If every safety measure was taken in the event of a burn accident at work, you may still have a case. You can contact us to speak with a lawyer who specializes in workplace injury and will examine your claim and fight to protect any violated rights while seeking compensation.