Sharp Tool Injury Prevention

August 8th, 2016

knife safety

The following on sharp tool injury prevention was written by Safety Management Services Company. It is being shared with permission. 

Cuts and Punctures From Knives and Sharp Tools

Nicks, cuts, and scratches. Not only are injuries often very painful, but these injuries allow bacteria and foreign materials into the body causing much greater harm.


Cuts require immediate professional attention if:

  1. There is severe bleeding, especially an arterial wound, which literally can pump your blood out of your body.
  2. Puncture wounds, such as those caused by a rusty nail or animal bite.  These can easily lead to tetanus (lock-jaw) if your tetanus booster is not current.
  3. Cuts more than one-half inch long, and one-quarter inch deep, which will usually require stitches.

Protect Yourself – Protective Equipment

  • Use the proper protective equipment. This may include cut- or puncture-resistant gloves, arm guards, aprons, or whatever is appropriate.
  • If it is necessary to install blades or cutting surfaces, make sure that these are properly guarded or you are wearing your protective equipment

Protect Yourself – Tools and Tool Usage

  • Some people consider one of the great truths of life to be “cut away from yourself.” This is a great rule.
  • Never reach across a box to cut it open with a box cutter. You will draw the knife toward you.
  • Use a knife or box cutter with a blade that automatically retracts when not in use.
  • If cutting banding or other materials, use snips or other cutter designed for the purpose.
  • If the knife is dull, sharpen or replace it. A sharp knife takes less force, gives greater control, and cuts where it is intended.  If the knife will not cut properly, why use it?
  • When changing blades in a machine, use proper tools, guards for the cutting edges, and all proper lockout procedures.
  • Properly dispose of all worn-out cutting tools. Do not throw them unprotected into the waste receptacle.  Someone may get cut reaching into the trash.
  • Don’t carry improperly sheathed or protected tools (especially in your pocket).
  • Pass any cutting tool to another person by the handle, not the blade or by tossing it.
  • Properly store the tools when you are done with them.

Immediate Steps if Injured

  1. Get immediate first aid.  If you have not been trained, go to your supervisor or lead person to get the proper treatment.
  2. If bleeding does not stop, there is numbness, lack of movement or control of the injured part, embedded dirt, or you have any other concern, seek professional help.

If you experience an injury while on assignment with ABR, stop working and report it to your supervisor immediately. Then, after receiving treatment, contact your local ABR Employment Services office.




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