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Is the kettle in your workplace a serious burn risk waiting to happen?

by , 07 August 2014
Earlier this week, an article in the Huisgenoot reported Heinz Winckler's wife, Alette, suffered serious third degree burns after she spilt a kettle of just boiled water on herself.

She rushed off to the hospital where they quickly treated the burns so she's okay now. But what if this happened to one of your employees? Would they be as lucky?

We often underestimate just how dangerous hot water and water heating devices like kettles or urns can be.

That's why you need to take precautions to ensure your employees are safe from these seemingly inconsequential accidents...

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Here's how to ensure your employees don't land up with third degree burns because of workplace appliances

You must assess your workplace for these kinds of risks. Look for dangers such as exposed hot water pipes, kettles and large industrial heating elements. 
If your employees use these appliances regularly, they could be in danger. For example, if they use your kettle often they could accidently spill boiling water on themselves like Alette did.
If you identify any of these risks, here's what you should do...

Here's how to protect employees from hot water burns 

- If you have exposed hot water pipes, enclose them to ensure your employees can't come into contact with them.
- Replace that kettle with a wall mounted hot water urn.
- Create a barrier between your employees and industrial water heating elements.
With all of these precautions the point is to prevent your employees from coming into contact with hot water. 
You should also educate your employees about how dangerous hot water burns are and why they need to be careful when they use hot water.
This way you can protect your employees from experiencing the same injury Alette did. 
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Do you have more than 20 employees?
Don't ignore this health and safety obligation or else!
The DoL will slap you with a R50 000 fine or 1 year in jail if you don't have a health and safety representative. 

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