09/2/20

UTILITY KNIFE SAFETY

Hand lacerations are the most common hand injury in the workplace (63%). They are the Number 2 leading cause of work-related injury and are the most preventable. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports:

  • There are 110,000 lost-time hand injuries annually.
  • Hand injuries send more than one million workers to the emergency room each year.
  • 70% of workers who experienced hand injuries were not wearing gloves.

COMMON CAUSES OF HAND LACERATIONS WHEN USING A UTILITY KNIFE

  • Pulling the knife towards you instead of away from your body.
  • Using a dull blade. Dull blades require more pressure, increasing the potential for injury.
  • Cutting more than the knife can handle.
  • Incorrectly storing the knife with the blade extended.
  • Not wearing hand protection.
  • Not inspecting the knife before use.

CORRECT USE

  • Wear a cut-resistant glove for hand protection.
  • Draw the knife away from your body.
  • Ensure the knife is the correct tool for the task.
  • Inspect the blade to make sure it’s not damaged or dull.
  • Properly store and retract the blade.
  • Make your cut on a solid surface. Never hold an object in your lap or against any part of your body.

Some hand lacerations can be minor and only need first aid. Other hand lacerations can be severe, requiring medical attention and potentially causing nerve damage that limits hand dexterity for life

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.