OHS REGULATION REDUCES FIRE INJURY SEVERITY

Research showing a decline in work-related injuries from fire or smoke over the past two decades attributes the improvement to workplace safety measures and regulations.

Led by researchers from Monash University, the study found workplace injuries treated in emergency departments tend to be less severe than non-work-related cases, possibly due to a higher healthcare-seeking threshold outside of work settings.

Researchers suggest workplace safety protocols and organisational culture likely contribute to lower severity of work-related fire injuries while ‘cooling interventions’ applied at the scene of workplace burn injuries and increased availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) have improved outcomes for workplace burn injuries.

Workplace injury prevention practices, such as sprinkler systems, fire blankets, safety showers, and first-aid supplies, not only prevent fire, flame and smoke injuries but also lower the severity of burn injuries when they occur.

The study analysed data from Victoria over a period from 2003 to 2021, identifying a decline in work-related fire injuries but an increase in non-work-related cases. The researchers attribute this trend to enhanced OHS regulation, including mandatory smoke detectors and smoking bans in enclosed workplaces.

Overall, the study highlights the importance of workplace safety measures in preventing fire-related injuries and reducing their severity, benefiting both workers and the general population.

Access the full study here

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