January Safety Topic: Burn Awareness

According to the American Burn Association, burn injuries result in over 40,000 hospitalizations annually. While most of these burns occur in the home, workplace burns are a preventable source of injury. Awareness, hazard prevention, and protection can dramatically lessen the risk of burns in the workplace.

Burn Awareness

Burn awareness is the knowledge and understanding of preventing and treating burns. Heat, electricity, chemicals, and radiation can cause burns. Burns can range from minor to severe and can cause significant pain, scarring, and even death.

Types of Burns

There are three types of burns: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree.

  • First-degree: least severe; only affects the outer layer of skin.
  • Second-degree: affects the outer and underlying layer of skin and can cause blisters.
  • Third-degree: most severe; can damage the deeper tissues and organs.

Burn Prevention & Treatment

The best way to prevent burns is to avoid exposure to heat, electricity, and chemicals by following these tips:

  • Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with heat, electricity, or chemicals.
  • Keep flammable materials away from heat sources.
  • At home, never leave cooking food unattended.

Here are some tips to help treat a minor, first-degree burn:

  • Remove clothing/jewelry near the burn.
  • Run COOL water over the burn for at least 10 minutes.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage.
  • Take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve pain.

If you or someone else has been seriously burned (e.g., second- or third-degree burn) seek medical attention immediately. At CUIMC, call 911 and Public Safety at 212-305-7979.

For more information or questions about Burn Awareness, please contact your supervisor or a Campus Life Safety & Regulatory Compliance team member.