Certain work environments in Massachusetts that are predisposed to a higher risk of burn injuries. These include construction sites, chemical plants, and factories. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 5,000 burn injuries are suffered annually due to workplace fires and explosions. Read on for more information about the various types of workplace burns, and how you can dramatically reduce your risk of this type of injury.
Types of Workplace Burns
Workplace burns typically fall into one of three categories: thermal, chemical, or electrical.
- Thermal burns: When a worker comes into contact with flames, steam, hot surfaces, or hot liquids, a thermal burn may occur.
- Electrical burns: Most common among electricians, electrical burns occur when a current travels through the body and meets resistance in tissues, resulting in burn injuries.
- Chemical burns: These burns can occur with or without heat. Certain substances can produce damaging chemical changes in the skin. Generally, the damage will continue until the chemical is flushed away or the chemical reaction is complete.
Among the different types of workplace burn injuries, chemical burns are most prevalent. However, workplace electric burns claim the most lives. Victims are almost entirely young males (average age of 37), and African American workers have the highest burn rate. If you have been injured in a work-related accident, contact a MA work injury lawyer today.
How to Treat Workplace Burns
Each type of burn requires a different method of treatment. Below are some tips on how to treat the most common workplace burns.
- Thermal burn treatment: If the victim or his clothes are still burning, douse with water if available, or roll him in a blanket to smother the flames. If the burn is minor, immerse it in cool water. Then apply burn cream and give the victim water and a pain relief medicine. If the victim has suffered second degree burns, follow the steps above but do NOT apply water to the wounds. If the victim has sustained serious, third degree burns, call for immediate medical help, cover with a sterile, non-stick bandage, and treat for shock.
- Electrical burn treatment: Turn off power so the area is safe, and do not approach the victim until the power is turned off. Check the victim’s breathing, call for immediate medical help, and treat for shock. If you have suffered work-related electrical burns, contact a Boston work injury lawyer today.
- Chemical burn treatment: Remove clothing in the area of the burn, brush away any loose powder, and flush the area with water for at least 20 minutes. Seek immediate medical help, and cover wounds with sterile, non-stick bandages. If the eyes have been affected, flush the eyes with clean water.
How to Prevent Workplace Burns
Proper training, safety gear, and a clean, well-maintained work environment are essential to burn prevention. The tips below will dramatically reduce your risk of a work-related burn injury.
Plan: Determine burn dangers. Before beginning any job functions, familiarize yourself with the nearest first aid kit, fire safety equipment, and eye wash station. Wear appropriate clothing and Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) when performing any electrical work. Prior to working with any substance, read chemical labels to determine the required PPE and safety regulations.
Prevent: Sparks and open flames should always be kept away from flammable materials. Prevent debris from accumulating in these areas. Chemicals should always be handled and stored according to instructions. Read labels thoroughly prior to working with any chemicals. Wear appropriate PPE at all times. Never touch or reach over equipment, surfaces, or pipes if you are unsure of their temperature. To prevent pipes bursting under pressure, ensure line breaking procedures are followed at all times.
Altman & Altman, LP – Work Injury Lawyers Serving All of Massachusetts
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA workers for more than 50 years. We have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for clients. Our knowledgeable work injury lawyers will ensure that you understand your rights and options before moving forward. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.