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Hospitalized work-related burns in Washington State.
Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, 86-2-2006, 2006 May; :1-22
Hospitalized work-related burn injuries are a significant public health concern, with physical, psychological, social and economic consequences that are often severe. The purpose of this report is to provide information on these serious injuries in order to prompt interventions to reduce workplace hazards and prevent future burns. From September 2000 through December 2005 there were 350 workers hospitalized as a result of work-related burns. About 90% were male and the average age was 37 years. Most of the workers sustained thermal burn injuries; however about 10% each received electrical or chemical burns. Those with electrical burns tended to have more severe injuries. A total of 22 workers received fatal injuries - either the worker died as a direct result of his/her burn injuries or a severe burn occurred in addition to another fatal injury. The overall annual incidence rate was 24.5 hospitalized work-related burns per million workers. The rate was higher for male workers than for female workers. Workers between the ages of 22 and 24 years were at the highest risk for hospitalized work-related burn injuries. Most workers filed state-fund workers' compensation claims. The average cost per claim exceeded $50,000 with an average of 135 lost workdays. Industry rates were calculated in order to prioritize industries by the frequency and risk of hospitalized work-related burn injuries. These high-risk industries were then reviewed to identify common injury scenarios. Based on these results, future research and prevention activities should be aimed at the following: 1. Hot tar burns among roofers, including, but not limited to, the filling and transferring of buckets. 2. Thermal burns from arc flash explosions and electrical burns from direct contact with electrical current among electricians working on or near energized equipment. 3. Scald burns among cooks, other kitchen workers, and servers, particularly during the handling and transfer of containers of hot water, oil, and other liquids and while working with and around deep fryers. 4. Molten metal burns among foundry workers, particularly addressing burns to the lower extremity while filling and working with molds. 5. Flame burns among scrap metal recycling workers, including those in which clothing ignites while welding or using cutting torches.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Workers; Work-environment; Humans; Men; Temperature-effects; Burns; Skin; Skin-exposure; Heat-conduction; Heat-exposure; Women; Hazards; Age-groups; Electrical-burns; Electrical-hazards; Electricity; Chemical-burns; Chemical-properties; Traumatic-injuries; Morbidity-rates; Mortality-rates; Roofers; Roofing-industry
Christy C. Curwick, MPH, SHARP Program, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, PO Box 44330, Olympia, WA 98504-4330
Hospitalized work-related burns in Washington State
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: July 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division