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February 25, 2010

Be Aware of Burn Hazards

More than 21,000 workplace burn injuries were reported in 2008, resulting in over 110,000 days away from work, not to mention the pain and suffering of those affected. Does your safety program effectively address all critical burn hazards?
The most common injuries result from contact with hot surfaces and materials, flames or steam, but a comprehensive safety program must address other common burn sources, including chemicals, electricity and even sunburn.
Due to lengthy burn-recovery times, training workers to recognize burn hazards and take precautions to prevent injury is time well spent. Even office workers can get heat or electrical burns on the job. Safety signs that identify burn hazards are key elements of any burn prevention program.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports these burn injury statistics for 2008:
  • 15,630 heat burns occurred most commonly in the leisure/hospitality industry, followed by trade/transportation/utilities; manufacturing; education/health services; and construction.
  • 5,620 chemical burns were most common in manufacturing facilities, followed by trade/transportation/utilities; construction; leisure/hospitality; and professional/business services.
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