Burns can be serious and even life-threatening. Though they often happen because of flames and hot materials, corrosive substances and chemicals are also a major hazard. Here you'll find information and resources to help keep everyone safe and healthy on the job.

The risks

Burns from chemical sources can affect the skin and the eyes. A number of industries have hazards that can cause eye injuries.

How to reduce the risks

Personal protective equipment is a must. While it's important to wear gloves and flame-resistant clothing, it's also important that workers in these industries wear eye protection.

The following table offers some of the ways to reduce the risk of burns associated with common workplace hazards. For more information, see our resources.

Welding, brazing, soldering
  • Weld steel drums only when you are certain that drums do not contain any flammable or harmful chemicals.
  • Wear flame-resistant clothing when performing any welding work.
Industrial lasers
  • Use eye protection to shield the eyes from light in the ultraviolet spectrum.
  • Use extreme caution when operating a Class 4 laser, which has enough power to sever limbs.
Portland cement powder (corrosive powder/dust)
  • Wear tight-fitting safety goggles to prevent airborne dust from contacting eyes.
  • Keep cement containers closed.
  • Work within 6 m of an eyewash stations.
Electricity-arc flashes
  • Take all practical steps to ensure the fault current at the point of work is kept as low as possible while the work is in progress.
  • Limit possible injuries by not placing body parts directly in front of energized equipment when there is danger of an arc flash.
  • Always follow lockout procedures.
Hot oil and water
  • Follow safe work practices to avoid scalds and burns when working with hot oil and water.
  • When handling chemicals, use the appropriate personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves) as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Read the labels and safety data sheets that accompany chemicals.