Every employer and employee should make it a priority to ensure the workplace is safe and cuts and lacerations are prevented.
Around 30% of all annual work-related injuries in the country are cuts and lacerations. These injuries are devastating to employees and employers, especially in small organizations where employees are forced to take up new roles while the injured worker takes time to recover.
Therefore, every employer and employee’s utmost priority is to ensure the work environment is safe and workplace injuries such as cuts and lacerations are prevented. Here are some basic and general actions to help develop and enhance comprehensive workplace safety measures.
Every employer should be proactive about curbing tragic cuts and lacerations by training and empowering workers to properly use new and existing cutting tools.
Achieving a cut and laceration-free working environment takes time and resources. However, adopting structured safety training is a good starting point. Also, an annual refresher training coupled with training of new employees can help keep workers updated on the most recent safety measures.
2. Sharpen Blades and Knives
Contrary to common belief, using a dull knife is generally riskier than using a sharp one. This is because dull knives require you to use extra force, increasing the chances of the knife slipping and causing painful cuts and lacerations.
Additionally, all tools with cutting blades should be maintained appropriately. Well-maintained tools are less prone to malfunction, which means fewer cut injuries.
3. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
You should generally wear appropriate PPE every time you’re using a cutting tool or equipment with a cutting blade. To prevent cuts and lacerations, be sure to wear well-fitting gloves, long-sleeved shirts, and glasses. This will create a protective shield between your skin and the sharp tools. Moreover, loose gloves and dangling objects can easily be entangled between moving machines and cause catastrophic cut injuries.
Equally important, dangerous machines such as grinders, mixers, and drillers should always have their safety guard when not in use.
4. Never Leave a Cutting Tool Unattended
Leaving tools with cutting blades unattended is one of the reasons employees sustain cuts and laceration injuries. For example, you could slip and fall on the exposed blade and suffer debilitating cuts and lacerations.
Therefore, never leave sharp tools unattended, even if you are going for a short break or excusing yourself to answer the phone.
One way to ensure cutting blades are always concealed when not in use is using self-retracting blades.
5. Keep Your Working Area Clean
A messy working space creates inefficiency, forcing you to make sudden movements to avoid obstructions. In the process, you may come into contact with cutting blades and suffer cuts or lacerations. Therefore, always clean your working space and ensure it’s organized.
Seek Legal Assistance
Have you suffered work-related cuts or lacerations? At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann, our experienced St. Louis work injury lawyers are focused on helping injured workers pursue the compensation they are entitled to. Give us a call 24/7 for a free consultation and learn more about your right to compensation after a work injury.
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