Treating & Preventing Burns
Burns and scalds are among the most common injuries suffered by professional kitchen staff.
As an employer, it is your duty of care to ensure the health and safety of all employees so taking measures to prevent an accident, or having someone in charge who knows what to do if one happens, is crucial. Take Stock spoke to Graham Ellis, training delivery manager at St John Ambulance, to find out more.
How to avoid burns in a professional kitchen
The most common cause of scalds or burns in a kitchen is spilling hot liquid, most often scalding hands, arms and feet. To reduce the risk:
• Avoid lifting and carrying heavy or awkward containers of hot liquid
• Don’t walk across a wet floor. It may be slippy and the instinct to reach out to try and break a fall could result in touching something hot or knocking a pan over
• Let oil and fat cool before moving them
• Let appliances cool before cleaning them
• Use oven gloves and wear non-slip shoes which completely cover your feet
• Make sure appropriate firefighting equipment is available
What should you do first if someone suffers a burn?
• Get the person away from the heat source
• Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes
• Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin – but don’t move anything that’s stuck to the skin
• Keep the person warm, for example with a blanket but make sure it doesn’t touch the burnt area
• Cover the burn with a layer of cling film – or a clean plastic bag if it’s on the hand
• Use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain
• If the face or eyes are burnt, sit the injured person up as much as possible which helps to reduce swelling
• Never use ice or iced water, creams, gels, butter or margarine or cotton wool to treat the burn
• Don’t burst any blisters
When should you take them to A&E?
• If the burn is deep or larger than the affected person’s hand
• If the burn has caused white or charred skin
• If a burn on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals has caused blisters or involves or is affecting the person’s eyes
The most common burns in a professional kitchen are:
Contact burns – caused by dry heat such as fire or hot metal
Scalds – caused by something wet such as boiling water or oil
If you’re looking for a natural way to treat a burn, Carun Active Hemp Ointment is the first product using 100% natural ingredients available to kitchen professionals to help improve the healing and pain after the initial first aid treatment. It can also reduce the pain, severity and appearance of burn scars and scar tissue after any hospital dressings have been removed.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of all employees and anyone affected by their work, so far as is reasonably practicable, which means balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the risk in terms of money, time or trouble. This includes taking steps to control slip and trip risks.
St John Ambulance has thousands of training courses across the country, including a full suite of first aid, risk assessment, fire marshal, and moving and handling courses, enabling hundreds of thousands of people to be the difference in their workplace – and outside of work – to protect their colleagues, family, friends, and members of the community. Visit sja.org.uk for details.