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.