The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 5,000 Americans receive work-related burns each year. OSHA requires that employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for its employees. Awareness, hazard prevention and protection can dramatically lessen the risk of burns in the workplace. When it comes to burns, here are a few ways employers can help to provide safe workplaces.
Brad Parker says, “It’s imperative that employers make sure that their employees have proper and adequate training. It is one of the most important steps an employer can take to keep employees safe.”
Not only should training cover the hazards that the employee may encounter on their worksite, but it should also provide an overview of OSHA standards.
“Employers should make sure that the employees are trained on their specific job duties as well. This includes in-depth safety training with any heavy machinery, chemicals or other worksite hazards that specifically relate to their job function,” Brad says.
On top of the initial training employees receive, they should also attend regular refresher training so employees keep up-to-date with safety standards and that important concepts are kept at the front of mind.
OSHA requires that potential hazards be marked with color codes, posters, labels or signs to warn employees. This is extremely important in burn prevention. When hazardous chemicals are present in the workplace, employers are also required to produce and provide a written Hazard Communication plan.
Types of Workplace Burns
These are the most common types of workplace burns and are caused by scalding, open flames, explosions or direct contact with a very hot object. The best way to prevent thermal burns is by wearing protective clothing and eyewear.
Chemical burns result when an employee’s skin or eyes have come into contact with alkaloids, strong acids or other corrosive materials that eat away at the skin and deeper tissue beneath the skin. To prevent chemical burns, workers should be trained in hazard communication so they know the symbols and labels that will communicate chemical risk. Wearing the proper protective clothing and eyewear is one of the best ways to prevent chemical burns.
In the workplace or on a work site, electrical sources and high-voltage areas and machinery should always be clearly marked. Electrical burns occur when current travels through body and meets resistance in tissue. To avoid these types of burns, workers should make sure to identify live wires, avoid contact with water while working with electricity, and wear appropriate protective equipment.
Sun Exposure Burns
Many jobs require employees to be exposed to the sun for a large part of the day. They should be well versed in sun safety practices that will keep them safe and take precaution to reduce hours under harsh direct sun. Wearing sun-protective work clothing, headwear and sunscreen to reduce the risk of burns from the sun and remembering to seek shade during breaks if at all possible are the best ways to minimize risk.
Burn injuries are serious. If you or a loved one have experienced a workplace burn injury, we would love to hear more about your story and do what we can to fight for you.
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At Parker Law Firm, our experienced personal injury lawyers believe people matter. We are committed to our clients, not case numbers, and we believe in the power of the civil justice system. With years spent both representing accident victims and participating in the state legislative process, our founder, Brad Parker, has developed a deep understanding of the law and gained unique experience that helps him get results for his clients.