Injuries Board Reveals Huge Increase in Burn and Scald Accidents in Workplaces

A report has been released by the Injuries Board which reveals that there has been a huge increase in the amount of burn and scald accidents that have occurred in Irish workplaces. 

The Injuries Board has released a report which reveals that there had been a 50 percent increase in injury claims for burn and scald accidents in Irish workplaces. The Director of Corporate Services at the Injuries Board-Stephen Watkins-has described this increase as “worrying”, and compared figures from 2011 and 2012. This comparison revealed that during this time, the number of accepted Injuries Board assessments in respect of claims for burn and scald accidents at work increased from 28 to 42.

Mr Watkins stated that assessments with a total value of €1.33 million were accepted by plaintiffs over the two year period, and that the average amount of compensation awarded was €19,066. He also listed the most frequent causes of accidents in the workplace which resulted in burn and scald injuries:

-An overflow of hot or boiling water

-Splashes from hot sauces and liquids

-Acid and chemical burns

-Clothing catching fire

-Electrical scalds from faulty equipment

The highest individual assessment accepted over the two year period was €106,949. This related to a plaintiff who had been badly injured in an acid spill. Mr Watkins commented that the highest frequency of injury claims for burn and scald accidents at work were made by plaintiffs working as caterers and cleaners.

The press release also highlighted that tasks that were seemingly straightforward-such as making a hot drink-could result in a burn or scald injury at work. Mr Watkins urged for employers and employees to be vigilant when in the presence of any substance or equipment that could result in a painful injury.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) published the results of their “Chemical Usage Survey” earlier this year, which revealed that two-thirds of companies in Ireland who use chemicals which are capable or delivering a burn or scald had no formal training program in place to train employees how to handle such dangerous substances.

It was also revealed in the HSA’s “Summary of Workplace Injuries”-published in 2012-that female workers are three times more likely to sustain burns and scalds in the workplace than their male counterparts, primarily due to the higher percentage of females employed in catering and cleaning.