Workplace injuries are devastating and can lead to long periods of wage loss or financial discomfort in many cases. With burn-related workplace injuries, the potential for complications is much higher. Educating yourself about workplace burn injuries can help you keep your workplace a safe place to make a living:
- 1 The 5 Burn Injury Categories
- 2 The 4 Burn Severities
- 3 The 2 Professions At The Highest Risk Of Workplace Burn Injury Accidents
The 5 Burn Injury Categories
There are many types of burn injuries out there. If you or someone you know suffers a workplace burn injury through no fault of their own, a burn injury attorney can help you seek financial compensation. When looking at the overall big picture of workplace burn injuries, however, there are five key categories every type of burn can be placed into:
1. Cryogenic Burns
Everyone knows that high temperatures can cause burns, but few people realize that extremely low temperatures pose burn risks as well (in the form of cryogenic burns). Skin contact with dry ice, hyper-cooled liquids, liquid nitrogen, and other extremely-cold substances can lead to severe burn injuries.
2. Thermal Burns
When you’re burned due to contact with a fire, or a heated item, it’s known as a thermal burn. This is the type of burn that people are most frequently aware of. Industrial and service industry workers are at high risk of thermal burns.
3. Electrical Burns
When electricity courses through the body, it sears your flesh and causes extreme burns. This causes both significant external and internal injuries, and burns, that can cause life-altering conditions (and even death) to occur.
4. Chemical Burns
When you’re exposed to acid or other dangerous chemicals, you experience some of the most painful, and irreversible burns imaginable. Caustic substances also carry the risk of causing cancers and other life-long diseases. Using all chemicals with the utmost caution is key to preventing chemical burns.
5. Radiological Burns
One of the broadest burn categories, radiological burns can happen due to exposure to radiant light energy, x-rays, ionizing nuclear radiation, microwaves, and much more. These burns are similar to chemical burns in many ways but are even harsher on average.
The 4 Burn Severities
Burns can be suffered in many different levels of severity. Most people know of three degrees of burn damage, but there are actually four that you should be aware of. The four degrees of burn injuries you can suffer from are as follows:
1. First-Degree Burns
First-degree burns only affect the top, uppermost layer of your skin. When you accidentally grab a hot pan briefly, your damage is likely to be classified as a first-degree burn. These burns are typically characterized by red, painful, and dry skin at the burn site.
2. Second-Degree Burns
If you’ve ever experienced a burn that, while not medically devastating, is incredibly painful, you likely suffered a second-degree burn. These burns run deeper into the lower layers of your skin and typically result in blistering. The skin at the site of a second-degree burn tends to be extremely red and sore as well.
3. Third-Degree Burns
If your outer two layers of skin are destroyed or significantly damaged by a burn, you’ve experienced a third-degree burn. These burns are difficult to reverse, debilitatingly painful, and can even prove deadly if untreated (and are hyper-prone to infection). The skin at the site of a third-degree burn tends to appear charred, white, and extremely blistered.
4. Fourth-Degree Burns
When you suffer a burn that’s able to destroy all layers of your skin, you’re suffering from a fourth-degree burn. These burns begin to affect your muscles, tendons, bones, and nerves significantly. Many burns on this level require amputation or other high-risk measures to treat, and they can even lead to deadly complications.
The 2 Professions At The Highest Risk Of Workplace Burn Injury Accidents
Many professions put you at high risk of burn injuries if you are not properly trained, or if you work (or are managed) in a negligent manner. There are two, however, that stand out above the rest in terms of risk:
1. Electrical Appliance Manufacturers
Workers in this profession account for nearly 15% of work-related burn injuries. Electrical burns and thermal burns are most common in these scenarios. Workers have to wear specialized equipment and go through extensive safety training, to ensure they do not put themselves or others in danger of serious burn or electrocution injuries.
2. Automobile Manufacturers
Workers in this profession account for nearly 13% of work-related burn injuries. Electrical burns and chemical burns are commonplace in these work environments. These workers are required to undergo training and follow strict safety protocols to protect themselves and their co-workers while on the job.
Stay Safe On The Job In 2022
No matter what profession you’re in, it’s your responsibility to follow the proper safety measures and protocols put in place to prevent workplace injuries. Burn injuries are devastating, and can lead to life-long conditions, so making them as rare as humanly possible is crucial in 2022 (and beyond).