Hospitalized Burns


Public health importance of work-related hospitalized burns

Work-related burns are a leading cause of acute occupational injury in the United States. An estimated 20-30% of all hospitalizations due to burn injuries result from workplace exposures.
From 1994-1998, a total of 290 workers filed claims to the Washington state-fund workers' compensation system for burn injuries that required inpatient hospitalization. These injuries incurred direct costs of almost $2.8 million per year and resulted in approximately 7,600 lost workdays per year (an average of 132 lost workdays per claim).
Work-related burns are preventable. Engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and employer/employee education are all potential strategies that can be used to prevent these serious injuries.

Purpose and operation


The purpose of this system is the identification of patterns and trends that can be used to reduce, through prevention, the occupational risks associated with work-related burns that result in hospitalization or death.


  • Describe the incidence, prevalence and mortality of work-related hospitalized burns.
  • Identify high risk occupations and industries.
  • Identify useful prevention strategies.
  • Generate hypotheses about causative agents and factors.

Planned uses

  • Identifying outbreaks of work-related hospitalized burns.
  • Analyzing risks by occupation and industry.
  • Tracking trends in incidence and prevalence.
  • Sharing information with health care providers, public health professionals, and labor and industry stakeholders.
  • Measuring progress in achieving Healthy People 2010 Objectives 20-2 regarding injuries resulting in medical treatment, lost time from work and restricted work activity.

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