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Burn injury facts: scald burns in restartant workers.

Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Olympia, WA: Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, 86-7-2009, 2009 Apr; :1-7
Burns are injuries to tissues caused by heat, friction, electricity, radiation, or chemicals. Scalds are a type of burn caused by a hot liquid or steam. Burns are classified according to how seriously tissue has been damaged. 1. A first degree burn causes redness and swelling in the outermost layers of the skin. 2. A second degree burn involves redness, swelling, and blistering. The damage may extend to deeper layers of the skin. 3. A third degree burn destroys the entire depth of the skin. It can also damage fat, muscle, organs, or bone beneath the skin. Significant scarring is common, and death can occur in the most severe cases. Scald burns are one the the most common causes of burns in restaurants. They occur when skin comes into contact with hot liquids or steam. Scalds with hot oil are generally more severe than those from hot water because oil heats to higher temperatures than water and oil is thicker so it may remain on the skin for a longer period of time. Scalds from water are very frequent in the restaurant industry and can cause third degree burns almost instantaneously if the water is boiling or simmering. Job Site Hazards 1. Slip or trip hazards can cause workers to stumble or fall. Slips, trips and falls are common events leading to restaurant worker burns. Many serious burns occur when employees slip and reach to steady themselves. This action often knocks hot liquids off of counters/stovetops on to the worker. 2. Carrying full containers of hot liquids is very dangerous, to the employee carrying the container and to those working around them. 3. Cooking with boiling water, hot oil or other hot liquids puts you at risk of being burned from splashes or spills. Follow all safety procedures when cooking with hot liquids. 4. Working with or around pressurized cooking equipment is also dangerous. If pressurized equipment is not properly maintained or used, it can explode causing serious steam injuries. 5. Steam from microwaves can reach temperatures greater than 200 degrees rapidly in covered containers. Puncture plastic wrap or use vented containers to allow steam to escape while cooking in the microwave, or wait at least one minute before removing the cover. When removing covers, lift the corner farthest from you and away from your face or hands. 6. Cleaning deep fryers or around deep fryers are common tasks associated with burn injuries in Washington restaurants. Extreme caution should be used when cleaning the deep fryer and surrounding kitchen area. Consequences of Scald Burns 1. When hot liquid makes contact with the skin, cells are killed by the heat. In many cases, contact with very hot liquid can damage tissue extensively, the contact may only last a second or so, but damage can still occur. 2. Eye contact with hot liquids, even a small amount, can be very damaging and an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) should always be consulted. 3. Physically, victims may suffer from chronic pain and scarring. Socially, workers may have difficulty re-integrating into the community, and may experience anxiety, depression, or other psychological symptoms. 4. The economic costs may also be high. Workers' compensation pays only a portion of lost wages. Some workers may not be able to return to their pre-injury job. Employers bear the costs associated with lost productivity, reduced competitiveness, employee rehiring and retraining, as well being subject to increases in workers' compensation premiums.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Workers; Work-environment; Humans; Temperature-effects; Burns; Skin; Skin-exposure; Heat-conduction; Heat-exposure; Hazards; Age-groups; Traumatic-injuries; Personal-protection; Personal-protective-equipment; Fall-protection; Psychology; Psychological-effects; Psychological-reactions
SHARP Program, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, PO Box 44330, Olympia, WA 98504-4330
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Cooperative Agreement
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Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
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Burn injury facts: scald burns in restartant workers
Performing Organization
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Page last reviewed: March 31, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division