• Published: 30 May 2017
  • Incident ID: 4064

Burn to hand while working in laundry

Cause & Consequence

  • Other

Other Cause & Consequence

Contact with hot surface - burn

Contributing Factor

  • Complacency
  • Control of work

Description of Process

Offshore laundry operations

Description of Incident

The injured party (IP) was working in the laundry when they put their hand into a dryer (prior to running the cooling cycle) to check if the garments were dry. Whilst doing so, the IP's hand contacted a base layer type garment that had melted inside the machine resulting in a burn that escalated to a lost time injury.

Base layer type garments are usually either a mix of or entirely made from polypropylene. This fabric has qualities which allow moisture to wick away and heat to be retained. Because of its melting factor, air drying is recommended instead of machine drying.

Good Practice Guidance

Some work activities must be done in sequence to ensure safety (e.g. running the dryer cooling cycle before entering). In such cases, it is necessary not only to know what the control measures are, but also to carry the work out in a particular order.

All users of offshore laundry facilities (not just those working there) should make sure that the items they are presenting are compatible for machine washing and drying. Certain fabrics can melt under high heat, increasing the risk of injury to laundry workers and the possibility of fire.

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