Workplace lacerations can have long-term effects not only on your company’s bottom line but also on your workers’ careers, finances, and wellbeing. To prevent cuts and lacerations, employers should adapt their safety protocols and introduce ways for employees to protect themselves.
How to Prevent Cuts and Lacerations in the Workplace
Working in a clean, safe environment with appropriate cutting tools is best for workers’ safety. Workers can also benefit from regular safety training and education to maintain a safe workplace.
1. Keep Your Cutting Tools in Good Condition
Check tools regularly to ensure they remain in good condition. You want to make sure that the tool functions smoothly and the blade is secure in its place. When tools are in good working order, especially those with cutting edges, it is far less likely that they will malfunction.
The blade of the cutting tool is the most important part of keeping it sharp: it requires more force to make a cut when it is dull, which may cause slippage. Schedule monthly or weekly maintenance checks for all cutting tools.
If your company uses a lot of cutting tools, stock up on replacement blades. By doing so, workers won’t be tempted to use a broken tool if they have no other options.
2. Fit Workers With the Right PPE
Your workers’ PPE needs to be in good shape and fit right. PPE gloves and eye protection are important for laceration prevention. Ensure workers have quality glasses and comfortable, secure gloves to keep their hands and eyes safe.
Your workers should wear gloves that offer different levels of cut protection. They also need to have the right eyewear for the job, and you can take care of that by providing them with the glasses they need in various styles, sizes, and lenses. If you have a regular maintenance schedule for your cutting tools, you should add PPE to your list of maintenance tasks.
3. Provide Regular Safety Training
Keeping workers safe requires safety training. Before they begin work, workers must learn safety protocols and understand there is a zero-tolerance policy for protocol violations.
If a worker does the same job the same way for a long time, they are likely to become complacent, which leads to laziness in following rules. Thus, workers must be reminded of the importance of following protocols at all times. A brief refresher will be sufficient and can be implemented during regular employee daily or weekly meetings.
4. Promote Safety Awareness
Many workplace lacerations result from workers not paying attention to their work. They may be stressed, distracted, tired, or in a hurry, which can lead to workers not paying attention. Cutting tools are dangerous if workers are not paying attention since it puts their own safety and those around them at risk.
When you train workers, tell them to take a deep breath and concentrate on the job at hand before using any dangerous tools. Let them know they should check their surroundings before they begin cutting, and make sure they are on solid ground. Teaching workers to stay aware of their surroundings and work tasks will help reduce injuries.
5. Use the Safest Cutting Tools
To prevent injuries, make sure your workers are equipped with the best safety knives. The safety features of most cutting tools are designed to limit blade exposure and keep the handle secure.
Choose tools with well-constructed blades that are made of sturdy materials: flimsy knives are not safe. Invest in ergonomic cutters, if possible, and make sure they allow for natural movements. Since ergonomic tools reduce fatigue and provide good grip, they can help reduce accidents and injuries.
6. Maintain a Clean Workspace
It’s important to keep work areas clean and safe, especially when dangerous or sharp materials are involved. Ensure that sharp materials are never left unattended and that your employees are trained in how to properly handle them to avoid injury. For instance, when opening a box cutter, they shouldn’t let the blade fall into their hands or risk dropping them onto the floor where others could step on it and get hurt.
When workers are not using tools with blades, they must keep them in a dedicated drawer for sharp tools. If there isn’t space in one drawer then maybe consider creating a lockable box or cabinet where all sharp objects can be stored safely out of reach until needed again.
Keep Your Workplace Safe For All
Safety is one of the most important factors in the production of a workforce. There are a few things that can cause a laceration, but you can ensure a well-trained workforce aware of safety protocols to prevent one. The time and effort it takes to prevent workers from being injured will be worth it.
Should an employee experience a laceration, it’s important to immediately evaluate whether it is an emergency situation or something that can be treated onsite or in a clinic setting. If you are unsure, it’s best to err on the side of safety and call emergency services.