Believe it or not, burns are a common workplace injury. Some burns are minor, and easily treated, while others are more severe. There are many jobs that are at risk for burns while on the job. These include firefighters, food service workers, welders, and many more. It is important to be able to determine the severity of the burn, as well as know what steps to take to properly handle burn injuries.
How-to Handle Workplace Burn Injuries: Job Safety
First, it is important to understand the different types of workplace burn injuries. First-degree burns are superficial and mild. The symptoms may be redness and some pain. Meanwhile, second-degree burns affect two layers of skin. These can cause redness, swelling, and blistering
A third-degree burns go through the outer layers and affect deeper tissues. They result in white or blackened, charred skin. Additionally, the skin may be numb. Beyond that, a fourth-degree burn can even affect your muscles and bones. There will be no feeling in that area since the nerve endings will be destroyed.
Different workplace burn injuries require different treatments. First-degree and second-degree burns can usually be treated with simple first aid materials in your workplace. Start by rinsing the burn with cool water for 15-30 minutes to stop the pain. However, avoid putting ice on the burned area. Then, clean the area with water, patting it dry with gauze. Do not break any blisters if they are present. Antibacterial creams or ointments can be applied, and Tylenol (or something similar) can be taken for pain if needed. Make sure to wrap the skin with a bandage if there are any open woulds or broken blisters.
On the other hand, third- and fourth-degree burns require medical attention right away. Make sure to call 911 immediately. A person with this injury may need an IV for fluids or antibiotics to help with infection. They could also end up needing skin grafting. While waiting on emergency services, try and keep the burned area elevated above the burn victim’s heart. It is also important to look for signs of shock. These can include fainting, pale skin, dizziness or shallow breathing. If you see this, do not move them, but try and elevate their feet a little bit.
While burns can be a serious workplace accident, there are steps you can take to manage and treat minor burns. More serious burns will require medical treatment. In the event of an accident, it is good to be knowledgable about workplace burn injuries.