Scalds and burns are a potentially life-changing injury that can lead to severe pain, lost time at work and permanent damage to skin. Working in a restaurant puts employees at particular risk of scalds. It is important that employees use extreme caution when working with or around hot liquids or steam, and have information about what to do should someone get burned.
What are Scalds?
Scalds are a type of burn that happens when skin comes into contact with hot liquids or steam. Scalds caused by hot oil are generally more severe than those caused by water, but scalds from water happen frequently and can cause third-degree burns almost instantaneously if the water is boiling or simmering.
For Any Burn
When a worker experiences any type of burn, nearby employees should immediately take the following steps to minimize the extent of the injury.
- Put out any flames and remove any restrictive jewellery or clothing.
- Check that the victim’s airway is open, that the person is breathing and that there are signs of circulation.
- Do not use ice on the burn, as it could cause even more damage.
- Do not apply butter, burn gels, creams or lotions, as they can prevent proper healing.
- Do not break blisters, as they make the victim susceptible to infection.
- If the person has slipped, tripped or fallen, consider that there may be injuries in addition to the burn. To avoid worsening these other injuries, do not move the person excessively.
If a worker suffers a minor burn, which is a first- or second-degree burn that covers only a small part of the body, the following steps should be taken.
- Remove clothing from the affected area.
- Hold the burned area under cool running water for at least five minutes or until pain subsides. Alternatively, submerge the area in cool water. Cooling the area reduces swelling.
- Loosely wrap the burn with a dry, sterile gauze bandage to protect and keep air off the burned skin. Do not tighten the bandage to avoid putting pressure on burned skin.
- If the victim experiences increased pain, redness or fever, which could signal an infection, contact a physician immediately.
If a worker experiences second- or third-degree burns over large surfaces of the body or face, hands, feet or the genital area, nearby employees should immediately take the following steps.
- Call 911.
- If burns cover an area the size of an arm or leg, keep the victim lying down.
- Don’t immerse large, severe burns in cold water, as it could trigger shock.
- Stay with the victim and watch carefully for signs of difficulty breathing.
- Don’t allow the victim to drink anything.
- Elevate the burned area, raising it above heart level if possible.
- Cover the victim with a clean sheet or blanket for warmth.
Want to learn more? Contact us at the Axis Insurance Group. Our team has the specialized knowledge and skill to provide insurance solutions designed to deal with the unique risks that restaurants face.
Looking for restaurant safety policies and procedures that support a safety-conscious work environment? Download our free Restaurant Employee Safety Manual!