- 23,000 workers reported a burn injury in the past four years
- Additional 1,745 burn injuries were reported by an employer
- Between 2013 and 2015 five employees have suffered a fatal burn injury
The latest data show that over half a million (595,000) people reported being injured at work between 2015 and 2018.
The most prevalent types of injury which are self-reported and the numbers of incidents in their thousands include strain and sprain, superficial, lacerations and open wounds, fracture and broken bones, burns and scalds, and dislocation of joints.
As National Burns Awareness Day 2019 (October 16th) approaches, CE Safety, the health and safety training company, conducted an analysis of Labour Force Survey from the past four years (2015 to 2018) and found that 23,000 workers reported suffering from non-fatal burns or scalds.
This means that an average of 75 workers out of every 100,000 suffered from a burn or scald at work.
According to Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). between 2013 and 2018, five people were reported by employers to have suffered a fatal burn injury. The number of non-fatal burn or scald injuries reported by employers during the same period was 1,745.
Gary Ellis, Health and Safety trainer at CE Safety, says: “The British Burns Association, confirmed that while the most common place of injury is the home for children and the elderly, for adults, it is the workplace. The data we analysed show that the number of self-reported burn injuries is worryingly high.”
According to the World Health Organization, the most common types of burn injuries in the workplace occur as a result of accidental misuse or mishandling of thermal, chemical or electrical sources or because of fire.
The Health & Safety Executive states that many serious accidents at work resulting in burns can be avoided using due diligence. Employers can be fined heavily if these injuries result from unsafe work practices, including employees not having the correct protective clothing or equipment.
6 Steps to follow if you or someone else has been burnt
Quickly stop the burning by removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water or smothering flames with a blanket.
Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area but nothing which is stuck to burnt skin and could cause further damage.
Cool the burn with cool water for 20 minutes as soon as possible. Never use ice, iced water or greasy substances, like butter.
Keep the person warm using blankets or clothing but never place them on the injured area. Warmth will prevent hypothermia, where a person’s body temperature drops below 35C (95F). Hypothermia is a risk when cooling a large burnt area.
Place a layer of cling film over the burn, rather than wrapping around a limb. A clean plastic bag can be used for hand burns.
Sit upright if the face is burnt. Avoid lying down as this could increase swelling.
Ellis adds: “If you or someone else has been burnt make sure that you immediately visit A&E if the burns are bigger than the victim’s hand, if the burns cause white or charred skin, you or the victim are burnt on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals that cause blisters, or the burns are chemical or electrical.
"All burns and any other injuries in the workplace need to be taken seriously. Ensure you are aware of where your first aid kit is or who is the person, in your team, who has undergone first aid training to ask them any questions you might have.”