Accidents at work can cause a wide range of injuries, including scalds and burns. With this in mind, it is important to know how to treat a burn, and where to go to receive immediate treatment of a burn during your working day.
Common causes of work-related burns
Common burn injuries at work include, for instance:
- Flame burns
- Scalding by hot liquids or steam
- Contact burns
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
- Flash burns, by ‘arcing’ of high voltage or explosions
- Radiation burns
Administering immediate treatment of a burn is imperative to minimise damage to the victim’s skin.
Immediate treatment of a burn
The first step is to stop the process of burning as quickly as possible by removing the victim from the area, smothering flames with blankets or dousing them with water. Next, you should:
- Remove any jewellery and clothing close to the burnt skin area. Never attempt to remove anything stuck to the skin, as doing so could cause further damage.
- Cool the burnt area for 20 minutes with cool running water, as shortly after the work accident as possible.
- Never cool a burn with creams, greasy substances like butter, ice or iced water.
- Keep the injured individual warm. This is particularly important if cooling a large area, as this may otherwise cause hypothermia. Use layers of clothing or blankets, but avoid placing these items onto the injured area.
- Place cling film over the burn injury. Burns on the hands may be covered with clear clean plastic bags.
- Treat pain with ibuprofen or paracetamol.
If the burn injuries are affecting the face or eyes, get the victim to sit upright and avoid lying down as much as they can, as this will assist in reducing swelling.
Following immediate treatment of a burn
As soon as immediate treatment of a burn has been administered, get the person injured at work to a hospital if they have:
- Electrical or chemical burns
- Deep, large burns, which are larger than a hand
- Burns causing blisters, charred, or white skin
- Other injuries requiring treatment
- Breathed in fumes or smoke
- A medical condition, such as diabetes, liver, lung or heart disease, or a weakened immune system
Victims displaying signs of shock, pregnant women, and individuals older than 60, should also be taken to hospital immediately.
If you were hurt in a work accident, you may be entitled to work injury compensation.
Call us, Accident Advice Helpline, now to learn more about claiming industrial injury compensation. Our 24/7 freephone helpline numbers are 0800 689 0500, and 0333 500 0993 from your mobile.
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Author: Accident Advice