When you go to work, you apply yourself diligently to your responsibilities. However, sustaining a serious injury such as a burn at work can impede your ability to do this. Unfortunately, life-threatening burns can happen at virtually any jobsite.
The American Burn Association estimates that more than 485,000 Americans receive medical treatment for burns every year, including incidents that happened on the job. By understanding how these injuries typically occur in workplaces across the United States, you can better avoid them. Here are four common causes:
- Steam, boiling liquids, fire and hot objects
As you know, if you touch a hot object, you are likely to burn your skin. While fire may be common in foundries, you do not have to work in an industrial job to be at risk. For example, spilled coffee in an office breakroom may scald you.
Something does not have to feel hot to burn your skin. Certain chemicals at room temperature still may injure you during even brief contact. Therefore, if you work with any type of chemical, you should know about its dangers. You should also have access to a sink where you can wash your skin if necessary.
- Sun and radiation
You may love to work outside. Still, exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause burns. Even worse, over time, you may develop skin cancer or another condition, especially if you fail to wear sunscreen. Additionally, certain types of radiation can burn human skin. If you work with equipment that generates radiation, your employer should train you on how to do so safely.
If you touch an electrical current, your body may sustain nerve and tissue damage. Your skin is also likely to exhibit burn symptoms. As such, you should always wear safety gear when working with electricity.
Burns and burn-related injuries do not confine themselves to a single industry or occupation. Regardless of where you work or what you do, it is important to understand how burns can occur. With a bit of caution, you are more likely to avoid a serious injury at your place of employment.