Types of Workplace BurnsThere are four types of burns a worker may experience in the workplace:
- 1st degree burns: This burn can take off a layer of skin and cause redness, but the injuries are superficial and can heal well. A common example is a burn caused by grabbing a hot pan (such as in a restaurant kitchen).
- 2nd degree burns: This burn damages the first and second layer of skin, which can cause blisters and swelling. A good example is a burn caused by scalding water, a hot iron, hot oil or a serious sunburn.
- 3rd degree burns: This is a serious and debilitating burn anyone can get. It damages both layers of the skin right down to the tissue underneath the skin. The burn is followed by intense pain and the burnt area can turn stiff and leathery. Common examples include burns from open cooking fires, electrical burns from exposed wiring, radiation burns, etc.
- 4th degree burns: This burn is usually life-threatening because it goes right to the muscles, bones and tendons. You can sustain one if you are caught in an office or warehouse fire and are unaware of safety exits, if any.
Occupations at Risk for Burn InjuriesBurn injuries are common in most workplace environments, but some are more susceptible than others. The following workers are exposed to hazards on a more regular basis in comparison to others:
- Healthcare workers
- Construction workers
- Food workers
- Landscape workers