Workplace Safety

Fire In The Workplace

Fire In The Workplace

Preventing fires is everybody’s job

In year 2010, over 60 death cases and 3900 injuries caused by burn occurred in Malaysia. As one former Secretary of Labor said, “Fires wreak havoc among workers and their families and destroy thousands of businesses each year, putting people out of work and severely impacting their livelihoods. The human and financial toll underscores the serious nature of workplace fires.”

Unfortunately, there are dozens of ways for workplace fires to start—chemicals, electricity, flammable liquids, combustible materials, compressed gases, smoking, even poor housekeeping. We need to protect against all these potential fire hazards all the time to make sure we’re not one of the 3900 workers that experience the pain today.

Here’s what you can do to prevent workplace fires:

  • Store chemicals properly in tightly closed containers.
  • Read labels and MSDSs for the fire hazards related to the chemicals you use.
  • Keep flammable and combustible materials away from ignition sources.
  • Keep incompatible chemicals away from each other.
  • Check containers regularly for damage or leaks.
  • Clean flammable liquid spills right away, and dispose of liquids and cleanup materials properly.
  • Make sure cords and plugs are in good condition before using electrical equipment.
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits.
  • Keep hot equipment away from combustible materials.
  • Shut down electrical equipment that smokes or sparks.
  • Obey smoking rules and “No Smoking” signs.
  • Extinguish cigarettes and matches completely in designated containers.
  • Handle compressed gas cylinders carefully and keep them away from heat.
  • Keep your work area free of trash
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First Aid For Burns

First Aid For Burns

What causes burns?

You can get burned by heat, fire, radiation, sunlight, electricity, chemicals or hot or boiling water.

There are 3 degrees of burns:

  • First-degree burns are red and painful. They swell a little. They turn white when you press on the skin. The skin over the burn may peel off after 1 or 2 days.
  • Second-degree burns are thicker burns, are very painful and typically produce blisters on the skin. The skin is very red or splotchy, and may be very swollen.
  • Third-degree burns cause damage to all layers of the skin. The burned skin looks white or charred. These burns may cause little or no pain because the nerves and tissue in the skin are damaged.

What you need to do immediately?

  1. Stop the burning to prevent a more severe burn.
    • Heat burns (thermal burns): Smother any flames by covering them with a blanket or water. If your clothing catches fire, do not run: stop, drop, and roll on the ground to smother the flames.
    • Electrical burns: After the person has been separated from the electrical source, check for breathing and a heartbeat. If the person is not breathing or does not have a heartbeat, call 911.
    • Chemical burns: Flushed with large amounts of cool water. Take off any clothing or jewelry that has the chemical on it. Don’t put anything on the burned area, such as antibiotic ointment. You can wrap the burn with dry cloth.
    • Cold temperature burns: Try first aid measures to warm the areas. Small areas of your body (ears, face, nose, fingers, toes) that are really cold or frozen can be warmed by blowing warm air on them, tucking them inside your clothing or putting them in warm water.
    • Tar or hot plastic burns: Immediately run cold water over the hot tar or hot plastic to cool the tar or plastic.
    • Liquid scald burns (thermal burns): Run cool tap water over the burn for 10 to 20 minutes. Do not use ice.
  2. Look for other injuries. The burn may not be the only injury.
  3. Remove any jewelry or clothing at the site of the burn. If clothing is stuck to the burn, do not remove it. Carefully cut around the stuck fabric to remove loose fabric. Remove all jewelry, because it may be hard to remove it later if swelling occurs.
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