Cuts and lacerations are the 2nd most frequent type of workplace safety incident for members of The United Restaurant Group.Interestingly, only 1 of the 5 most expensive claims was from a blade, 3 were from glass and 1 was from the edge of a grease trap.
Accidents happen but most cut and lacerations inflicted to hands and fingers, can be prevented by sticking to the following guidelines!
When cleaning up broken glass employees should:
- Never pick up broken glass with your hands
- Use a dustpan and brush for larger pieces
- Pick up smaller pieces with a damp paper towel, several layers thick
- Never place broken glass in a regular garbage
- Throw knives out in a hard-plastic bucket, labelled “broken glass” so that it can be safely removed
When working with knives and blades employees should…
- Keep your knife sharp…a sharp knife requires less force and is less likely to slip
- Keep your knife clean…a clean handle is less likely to slip out of your hands
- Store knives in a block or roll out of the way
- Never leave a knife on a countertop or in a drawer without protection
- Keep the fingers holding the item being sliced out of the way by curving them away from the blade
- Ask an experienced employee for a demonstration
- Bring the blade down and through the item in one clean motion, try not to use the knife like a saw.
- Pay attention…do not be distracted while using a sharp knife
- Use a cut-resistant glove when doing a lot of slicing protect your hands and fingers
- When using utility knives and box cutters select one with a retractable blade and always cut away from your body.
There are a lot of other ways to suffer cuts and lacerations in the workplace such as ductwork, drains, traps, metal prep tables, etc. Anytime you are moving equipment or material that could contain a sharp edge use the proper glove, they will protect you from sharp edges and give you a better grip.
Lastly, never put your hand where you cannot see, a soapy sink, a clogged drain, a garbage can, etc. Be cautious and proceed slowly so you do not cut your fingers or hand!