At first glance, the cut hazard is limited to the hands and arms, but you can also injure your lower limbs and other parts of the body, including the face.

Workers in industries and anyone else who works with sharp blade objects (including paper) risk cutting themselves. Let's take a closer look at the cut hazard from both a professional and a layman's perspective:

Cuts in workplaces

Cuts and lacerations are common workplace accidents. Cuts or lacerations account for up to 30% of all workplace injuries and approximately 70% of them involve hands and fingers.

Those can be minor abrasions that can be treated on the spot, but also serious or life-threatening injuries - deep lacerations or even amputations.

How do the accidents happen?

A cut or laceration can occur at work in a number of ways. For example, if a worker uses an unsuitable work tool or a tool in poor condition. Poor lighting, clutter and dirt can also play a role, as can insufficient training, working too quickly, not using the correct protective equipment and not following safety procedures.

Employers must keep employees safe

Employers must set up work procedures to identify and manage worker exposure to cut and laceration risks.

The most effective procedure is to prevent cut hazard. If you can replace a dangerous activity with robotic work, use it. In the same way, the risk can be outsourced and removed from the operation completely. If these options for eliminating the risk of cuts are too expensive, it is necessary to use adequate protection through PPE - to protect the person from cuts.

How to protect yourself if the risk cannot be eliminated?


How to protect yourself if the risk cannot be eliminated?

When cutting, make sure the tool is always safe, in good condition and never hold the object you are cutting in your hand.

  • While working, keep your hand out of cut trajectory
  • Make sure the blades are sharp - dull blades require more force to be used, increasing the chance of an accident.
  • Wear necessary PPE, including goggles, gloves, and cut-resistant sleeves.
  • Never use the cutting disc as a screwdriver, pry bar or cleaver.
  • Do not leave exposed blades unattended, keep tools in closed position when you do not use them.
  • Do not cut anything with the blade against the body.
  • Use a separate drawer for cutting and other sharp tools.
  • Follow standardized work regulations.

Injuring yourself with a sharp object at home is quite easy, too

Minor injuries from a sharp object are among the most common accident. They are not always deep cuts; they can be minor abrasions and superficial bruises and cuts. As these are not life-threatening injury, home treatment will suffice.

Such injuries are caused by:

  • Break-off knives
  • Kitchen knives
  • Sharp shards
  • Jagged can lids
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Shelves and other items made of thin sheet metal
  • Glass wool

How to reduce the risk of cuts in everyday life?

Always follow the instructions for the given device - each instruction shows how to handle the tool (for example, if you work with a chainsaw, it is forbidden to use the device above the heart):

  • Be cautious and follow the rules
  • Observe the protection zones when using the device
  • Use PPE

No home cook is a professional and thus is at occasional risk of cutting his fingers or palm. You can always protect yourself wearing cut-resistant gloves that allow for free movement of hands and fingers.

How does cut-resistant work equipment protect you?


How does cut-resistant work equipment protect you?

Clothes, gloves and shoes feature a similar principle. The layer of the upper material – fabric, leather or membrane – is tightly connected to the second layer consisting of several kilometers of textile, which has a single task. It begins to loosen from gloves, shoes or clothing and chokes or clogs the chainsaw, angle grinder, etc. Kilometers of fabric wind up on the cutting equipment and it stops at once.

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