Burn accidents are caused by extreme temperatures, including both hot and cold temperatures. Burn accidents can cause various types of injuries, ranging from mild to severe. Mild burn injuries are collectively referred to as first degree burns whereas severe burn injuries can be classified under second degree burns or third degree burns. Burn accidents can occur at home, in an industrial setting or any other place where extreme heat or cold may exist. It has been noticed that burn accidents often occur when safety guidelines are not followed properly. In many cases, such accidents also occur due to the absence of proper burn accidents warning signs or the lack of awareness about these signs.
Adhering to safety guidelines is the first step towards preventing burn accidents. Burn injuries cannot be taken lightly since they are the second leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States; next only to deaths resulting from automobile accidents. Burn accidents warning signs can play an important role in preventing burn injuries. These need to be installed near all places where extreme temperatures may exist. Moreover, people should be made aware of what warning signs mean and the implications of not adhering to these warning signs.
Burn accidents warning signs come in various shapes and sizes. These can be easily recognized by their distinctive yellow color. These are broadly classified into three categories – signs that come with the word ‘CAUTION’, signs with ‘WARNING’ and signs with ‘DANGER’. CAUTION signs are used in places where there’s a possibility of minor burn injuries whereas WARNING signs are used to warn about second or third degree burns. The DANGER sign is used to warn about major burn accidents that can lead to severe burn injuries and can even be fatal. The classification is done in order to make people aware that they need to be extra careful at certain places. For better understanding, here’s a brief overview of some of the most frequently used burn accidents warning signs.
Temperature warning signs:
These burn hazard warning signs are used to warn about things that may be too hot or too cold for the human body. These signs can be placed on the surface of the hot or cold equipment. In cases where the temperature may be extreme, these signs can be placed nearby the equipment. In an industrial setting, it is possible that specific areas need to be entirely tagged as ‘High Temperature Area’. It would indicate that people should be careful while entering the area and should not carry anything with them that can be potentially damaged due to the high heat. Some of the things that have temperature warning signs include hot steam pipes and vents, hot metal, generators, the external surface of containers with hot liquid, the area near a boiler, etc.
Flammable materials signs:
These burn accidents warning signs are used to warn about flammable materials that can catch fire with just a single spark. Flammable materials have a very low flashpoint of less than 37.8°C (100°F). Flashpoint is the temperature at which the flammable material starts producing vapors. The vapors combine with surrounding air that has oxygen and this mixture can catch fire instantly with just a spark. It has been noticed that many fire accidents are caused when people carelessly light a match, throw a lighted cigarette or use other fire sources in an area with flammable materials. Some of the most flammable materials include gasoline, propane, kerosene, diesel fuel, acetone, ethanol, pentane, ligroin, benzene, etc. Flammable materials can also cause huge explosions, which can lead to other injuries in addition to burn wounds. Some flammable materials can also produce toxic fumes when burned.
Electrical warning signs:
These burn accidents warning signs are placed near sources of electric current. Contact with electric current can lead to various injuries such as muscle and nerve damage and tissue destruction. Electric current can also cause cardiac arrest. Another most common injury caused by contact of electric current is thermal burns. The various types of burn injuries caused by electric current include low-voltage burn, high-voltage burn, arc burn, flash burn, flame burn and oral burns. Each of these electric burn accidents causes varying levels of damage to the human body and has their own distinctive symptoms. Electrical warning signs can be placed on equipment that utilizes high voltage current. It is also placed near high voltage power lines. These warning signs are also useful near battery rooms and generators. Since there is a great deal of science powering electrical systems and equipment, proper training is a must for people handling such things.
Chemical hazard signs:
Chemical burns occur when the skin comes into contact with certain hazardous chemicals such as acids or bases. Some examples of these hazardous chemicals include bleach, chlorine, battery acid, ammonia, etc. Chemical burn warning signs can be used to warn people about the presence of these hazardous chemicals. Such signs can be used to display the proper way of handling certain chemicals. It can also be used to warn about potential explosive or flammable reactions that can take place if some other stuff comes into contact with the chemical.
Friction burn warning signs:
Friction burns can occur when the skin comes into contact with and rubs along another surface, resulting in heat. These are most common in an industrial setting, as there are lots of moving parts. Friction burn warning signs can be placed near all equipment that can potentially cause friction. Friction burns usually cause first and second degree burn injuries that would heal on their own or require treatment in an outpatient environment.
Burn injuries resulting from burn accidents can be extremely painful. The trauma is both physical and psychological and many burn victims also experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Burn accidents warning signs can significantly reduce the risk of burn accidents. These should be an essential part of the overall safety precautions being undertaken by an organization. Conducting safety training at regular intervals to inform people about the burn accidents warning signs is also crucial in preventing burn injuries.