Thermal Burns Safety

Thermal burns are injuries to the skin and other soft tissues. They are the most frequently reported type of burn at Western. As part of Western's commitment to health and safety, hazard identification and awareness is provided to members of our community who have risk for thermal burns. Contact with heated surfaces, splashes of hot water, using steam are examples of touch points resulting in thermal burns at Western.

Prior to Use Inspections

Inspect all tools and equipment used for any work process using heat. Check that heating elements, burners, sensors, power cords, guards and built-in protective devices are good working order and there are no noticeable defects or missing pieces.   

Safe Materials Handling

Using the proper insulated hand protection and safe work practices are key in protecting yourself and others from heated objects. Oven mitts, steam gloves and insulated tools are available for people working with hot surfaces.  When using heat protecting gloves for carrying hot trays, glassware or other heated objects make sure your hold is positioned to support the item(s) in a controlled manner. Communicate while moving with heated items so others are aware of possible risks. 

Safety While Working

If possible, turn off the heat source and allow items to cool off before working. If you can not eliminate the heat source, organize your work processes to keep objects at a comfortable distance to minimize how far you need to reach over and around hot objects.  Use tools and utensils as designed for the work process.  Be attentive to the task at hand.

Food Services Areas

The preparation and serving food can have increased risk of thermal burn injury due to the equipment and procedures used in applying heat to what is being prepared. Members of our campus who do this work routinely, such as Hospitality Services, have specific training is available on the safe handling and use of heated surfaces and hot liquids. 

First Aid

First Aid kits are located in many locations on campus and are easily accessible to ensure care is provided right away if an accident occurs. Training is available to staff to meet First Aid Regulations under the Workplace Safety Insurance Board Act.

Learn more about First Aid


Thermal Burn Safety training can be found on the Required Training webpage

Helpful Links

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