Those in our industry know that working with bitumen can be dangerous due to its high temperatures and latent heat.
We also know that the health and safety practices adopted by all AAPA members across the whole of Australia are designed to protect workers from health and safety incidents. Zero harm is our goal. However, we must also be prepared in the case of an incident. Responding quickly and appropriately is critical.
Thankfully bitumen burns are very rare but this also means that most people, including hospital casualty staff, have little experience with burns of this type.
AAPA has therefore released a detailed Bitumen Burns Card, a card that should be carried in every vehicle that is associated with hot bitumen and asphalt.
In the event of a bitumen burn the first aid instructions should be followed. The burns card should also be attached to the shirt of the injured worker so that it can accompany the person to the hospital emergency ward. The information on the card can then assist medical staff who may not be experienced in handling bitumen burns. A work colleague should also accompany the person to the hospital and ensure that medical staff read the reverse side of the Bitumen Burns Card.
The card is printed on water resistant paper to ensure that it will remain readable even as water is poured over the bitumen burn.
The Bitumen Burns Card information lists the following first aid safety steps:
|Safety||PROTECT yourself and others from harm.
DO NOT attempt to remove any bitumen
COOL the burnt area with cold water for a minimum of 20 minutes. DO NOT USE ICE
|Note||EYE burns – flush with water, same as above.
REMOVE belts, rings and any other constrictions if you can do so without further damage.
DO NOT remove clothing or material that is stuck to the bitumen. This may cause further injury.
|Treatment||COVER any exposed burns (those not covered with bitumen) with clean non-stick burns dressings.
MAINTAIN body heat and treat for Shock Process.
DO NOT attempt to clean the affected area.
DO NOT apply lotions or ointments.
DO NOT dress areas covered with bitumen
DO NOT let blankets touch burns or bitumen.
DO NOT give ANYTHING by mouth until cleared to do so by medical personnel
|CALL||CALL for an Ambulance by dialling 000 immediately for any serious burn or medical complaint.
ATTACH the Bitumen Burns Card to the casualty.
AAPA has determined not to allow the card to be downloaded from the website as the card must be printed on water resistant paper to prevent the card from being damaged as water is poured over a burn. For this reason AAPA will provide cards at $1.00 for each copy. This includes postage and GST.