Recognizing National Burn Awareness Week 2024

The American Burn Association (ABA) sponsors National Burn Awareness Week every February. This annual campaign is intended to educate individuals and organizations on how to prevent and respond to burn injuries. For 2024, National Burn Awareness Week runs from Feb. 4-10. This year’s theme is flammable liquids burn. Such liquids include gasoline, cleaning agents, solvents, paints and adhesives.

When stored or handled incorrectly, flammable liquids can release harmful vapors into the air and cause explosions, potentially causing serious burn injuries. According to the ABA, gasoline fumes can ignite up to 12 feet away from the liquid source, highlighting the severity of flammable liquid hazards. As National Burn Awareness Week approaches, it’s important for employees like you to play your part in mitigating flammable liquid risks and avoiding related burn injuries on the job. As such, consider the following prevention and response strategies:

  • Review and comply with all company policies and procedures regarding flammable liquid safety and burn prevention. Additionally, attend any workplace safety training sessions on these topics.
  • Ensure safe storage, handling and disposal of flammable liquids. This may entail keeping storage areas clean and organized, maintaining the assigned labels on flammable liquid containers, wearing required personal protective equipment while using these liquids, staying adequately distanced from potential ignition sources and disposing of such liquids in approved receptacles.
  • Take note that if you or a co-worker experiences a burn injury, prompt treatment is essential. Minor burns can be treated with first aid, while large burns require immediate medical attention.

For additional burn prevention guidance, talk to your supervisor.

Mitigating Workplace Violence

Violence in the workplace is a serious safety and health issue. In fact, OSHA estimates that 2 million U.S. employees experience instances of workplace violence each year. Whether they come from a current or former employee, an unknown assailant, or as a result of domestic violence or personal problems, many of these incidents can be foreseen and averted through proper education and safety precautions. With this in mind, it’s vital for you to have a better understanding of the key types of workplace violence and how to mitigate these incidents.

Types of Workplace Violence

Workplace violence can include actions or words that endanger or harm you or cause you to believe that you may be in danger, including the following:

  • Verbal or physical harassment
  • Verbal or physical threats
  • Assault or other forms of violence
  • Any other behavior that causes you to feel unsafe (e.g., bullying or sexual harassment)

Staying Safe

All threats should be taken seriously. You can reduce your risk of experiencing violence in the workplace with the following safety strategies:

  • Stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times. Be prepared to recognize violent or otherwise threatening behavior from co-workers and third parties (e.g., customers or suppliers).
  • Work in pairs when traveling to unfamiliar locations on the job or when you find yourself in unusual situations.
  • Learn how to identify, avoid or diffuse potentially violent situations by reviewing related company policies and procedures.
  • Attend any workplace safety training sessions about how to leverage proper conflict resolution techniques and handle dangerous scenarios. This may involve the following tactics:
    • Remaining calm throughout the incident
    • Complying with any demands from the assailant to avoid escalating the situation
    • Refraining from engaging in physical altercations at all costs (if possible)
    • Contacting a supervisor or the local authorities (if necessary) as soon as it is safe to do so
  • Report any suspicious behavior or violent incidents immediately in writing.

Reach out to your supervisor if you have any further questions about workplace violence prevention.