Preventing cuts and lacerations

April 1, 2013

Every year, roughly 30 percent of all workplace injuries involve cuts or lacerations, from scratches and abrasions to needlesticks, puncture wounds and amputations, according to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

The bureau identifies the following as typical hazards and possible causes of cuts and lacerations in the workplace:

  • Improper training
  • Lack of established safety procedures
  • Employees rushing or taking shortcuts
  • Failure to wear proper hand protection
  • Missing or improperly adjusted guarding equipment

To help minimize cuts and lacerations, employers should establish work procedures to identify and control the hazards, the bureau states.

If using a knife or blade during work tasks, BWC recommends employees:

  • Wear proper personal protective equipment, including eye protection, gloves and long sleeves.
  • Use the proper tool for the job at hand.
  • Keep the work area clear.
  • Use a sharp blade; a dull blade means a worker has to exert more force when cutting, increasing the risk of an injury.
  • Replace dull blades when necessary.
  • Never leave an exposed blade unattended; use self-retracting cutting blades.