The first week of February is National Burn Awareness Week, which makes it an ideal time to review company rules and regulations in preventing workplace burns. In the United States, burn injuries result in more than 40,000 injuries per year that require admission to a hospital for treatment. According to OSHA, more than 5,000 of these injuries occur in the workplace. OSHA requires that all companies enforce Hazard Communication Standards and provide a safe environment for all workers. The employer must train all employees about workplace burn awareness before beginning any job. The training should include identification of potential hazards, the nature and treatment of burns, the use of labels and SDSs, and employee rights and responsibilities.

Discussion Points:
• Hazard Communication Standards
• Identification of potential hazards and awareness of surroundings
• Prepare for the worst, follow guidelines and proper procedures
• PPE, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and eyewash stations
• How to obtain information, the use of product labels and SDSs

Many workers who experience workplace burns, often suffer severe damage requiring medical treatment, resulting in permanent disfigurement or disability. Burn injuries often range from superficial or minimal skin damage to deep tissue or permanent damage to muscles and internal organs. Common causes of workplace burns include contact with chemicals, hot liquids or objects, or electricity. When a burn occurs, follow the instructions for first aid on the chemical SDS provided by the manufacturer. Notify your supervisor immediately and seek medical treatment. Workplace burns can often be prevented by implementing safety measures, awareness of hazards, proper training, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment.

As always, be safe out there!