Hot Water & Hot Surfaces: Identifying Scalding & Burning Risks to Reduce Them

Hot Water & Hot Surfaces: Scalding & Burning RisksIn the first part of this article, we examined the need to manage the risks associated with hot water and hot surfaces. We highlighted the fact that some people are at greater risk than others to the dangers such high temperatures can pose. We also explored the need to manage the legionella risk that can come from water systems and how water temperature is often used as a thermal control mechanism.

In this second part of the article (part 2 of 2), we will explore ways to identify the risks and what we can do to reduce them.

Specific risk areas for burns and scalds

Some people are clearly at greater risk of being burned or scalded, as we have already seen. Identifying ways in which people could be at risk will help influence the development of a tailored care plan for an individual.

Burning and scalding risks can be presented in many ways. For example:

  • Is someone unable to sense temperature through their skin, and could they therefore be scalded by encountering hot water, or touching a hot radiator?
  • Is someone unable to move quickly enough to get themselves away from a potentially-dangerous situation, i.e. if they were to fall against a radiator?
  • Could a person possibly run a bath or turn up a radiator without being aware of the possible consequences, perhaps because of a diminished mental capacity?

Such areas must be carefully considered, and each room or space should be carefully reviewed to identify risks and to find ways to reduce those risks. It is also worth noting that something that could be safe for one person may not be safe for another.

Controlling the risks from hot water, hot surfaces and legionella

Once the potential burning and scalding risks are found, those responsible for health and safety should introduce measures to deal with those risks. A good example is to introduce thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) to ensure the water temperature never goes above a dangerous level. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also recommends the use of instant water heaters where the temperature can be restricted and cannot rise too high.

Only a qualified and competent person should install the TMVs and other associated measures. The TMVs should be fitted close to the outlet, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and the recommendations on legionella control.

As for hot surfaces, it is vital to ensure these are carefully covered or protected wherever possible, to prevent someone touching or falling against them. Radiator covers are a simple and effective way to ensure this aspect is covered.

Regular maintenance and inspections

Finally, the requirement for regular maintenance to be undertaken is very important. Any control measures implemented for both hot water and hot surfaces are only as good as their last check, thereby ensuring everyone is as safe as they can possibly be.

Further information, advice and support

If you require further information or advice about burns and scalding risks from hot water and hot surfaces or you would like to speak with one of our specialists call us today on 0330 223 36 86 or get in touch here … contact us

Further reading

For additional information about scalding … here >>