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FIRST AID FOR BURNS

Just the thought of being a burn victirn is most unpleasant - but - as a construction worker you know that there are many opportunities for burn injuries to occur every day. Your job can bring you into contact with hot surfaces, flammable liquids, gasoline motors, torches, welding equipment, portable heaters, chemicals, electricity, and the sun and wind, all of which can cause burns. All burns are painful and the danger of infection must be addressed. Most burns require professional medical attention.

First Degree Bums - affect the outer layer of skin such as sunburn or contact with a hot objects. The skin will be red and sore. First aid treatment: apply cold water to the burned area or submerge the area in cold water. Apply a sterile dressing. Second Degree Bums - affect the entire outer layer of skin and may penetrate deeper. The skin usually blisters. These burns are caused by a bad sunburn, contact with hot liquids, or burns from gasoline for example. First aid treatment: apply cold water as you would for a first degree burn, or use a cold pack, or cover the burn with a cold, wet dressing. Don't break blisters or use ointments, antiseptics, etc. Seek professional medical help. Third Degree Burns - penetrate both layers of skin and are very serious! Contact with flames, burning clothing, or electricity can cause third degree burns. First aid treatment: if clothing is on fire, drop and roll the victim to extinguish the flames, cover burn area with a sterile dressing, never use cold water, ointments, antiseptics, etc. Get medical help at once!

Here are a few tips to prevent burn accidents:

Keep sparks and open flames away from combustible and flammable materials.

Practice good housekeeping - dispose of scrap materials promptly and properly.

Always keep chemicals in their original containers with labels, and use chemicals safely, check the MSDS and use caution when pouring hot liquids - even that morning cup of coffee.

Observe all electrical codes - lock-out/tag-out energy sources before working on machinery or equipment. Cover live electrical panels and post warning signs.

Wear the right personal protective equipment for the job.

Burns occur off the job, too. Keep children away from matches, portable heaters, ranges and fireplaces. Store flammables and combustibles properly.

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