Fire Safety and Burn Prevention for Construction and Labor Trades
Workers in these industries may be exposed to fire hazards more often than others. Learn how to keep these workers safe.
Exposure to fire and burn injuries on construction and labor trade-related worksites are common and can often result in serious, life-altering injuries. This October 9-15 recognizes Fire Prevention Week. Under the direction of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), this awareness week seeks to educate individuals on how to stay safe in case of a fire and decrease fire-related deaths.
According to NFPA, Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage, killing more than 250 people.
A burn is one of the most common types of injuries that can result from fire exposure. According to the American Burn Association, an estimated 486,000 burn injuries that require medical treatment occur each year.
Construction workers and those working in other labor trades are at an increased risk of receiving burn injuries while on the job because of the machinery and equipment required to perform their daily tasks. Construction and labor trade duties may expose workers to open flame or fire, electrical shock or electrocution, gas line explosions, chemical explosions, welding accidents and exposure to hot liquids or surfaces that can cause burn injuries.
Workers may suffer burn injuries from various methods, including:
- Thermal factors such as open flame, radiation or extreme heat from steam, hot liquids, objects or surfaces.
- Chemical factors such as acids, bases or caustics.
- Electrical factors such as electric current and lightning.
- Light factors such as intense light exposure or ultraviolet light, like sunlight.
- Radiation such as exposure to nuclear sources (ultraviolet light may also cause radiation burns).
Types of Burn Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rates burn injuries on a scale from first to fourth-degree burns.