Next to scrapes and bruises, burns are among the most common injuries people sustain in their daily lives. Whether we get them on the job or in our own homes, burns can happen at any time and can cause excruciating pain. As such, it’s important to know about the different types of burn injuries so that you can take preventative measures when you’re working near heat sources. Here are the main kinds of burns to look out for and some tips for protecting yourself.
When you touch a heated material directly, the temperature of your skin rises drastically. Unable to handle the change, your skin cells start to die off—leaving you with a burn. Thermal burns tend to happen frequently, though they’re rarely severe enough to cause permanent damage. You can mitigate your risk by wearing protection around hot metals, boiling liquids, and open flames.
Electrical appliances also pose a significant burn threat because electric currents generate their own supply of heat that can damage your skin on contact. Electrical currents also come with the secondary risk of shocking an individual. Consequently, you should turn off the power to a particular area before working on power lines and make sure you don’t use tools with broken wiring.
Another type of burn to be aware of is the chemical burn. These injuries occur when a corrosive substance spills on the skin—causing it to melt away. Chemical burns are among the most severe since water alone may not be enough to wash the corrosive material from the skin. As such, it’s best to keep all household chemicals out of reach of children and ensure they’re tightly sealed at all times.
Burns don’t only occur from exposure to extreme heat, though. In fact, cold burns are another type of burn injury that develops when the skin encounters an item with a very low temperature. The cold saps the heat from your skin cells and essentially freezes them on contact. It also causes the rapid decay of your skin and produces a very painful burning sensation. For this reason, take care not to touch chilled metals with your bare hands—especially in the winter.
Should you sustain one of these injuries, you must seek medical attention as soon as possible.
That way, professionals can assess their severity and get you the treatment you need. Additionally, those who suffer burns while working can hire a qualified personal injury lawyer to help them file for appropriate compensation.