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Lost time injury (LTI): Hand injury

A member has reported an incident in which a worker sustained a serious injury to his right hand. The incident occurred in an onshore mechanical workshop. The injured person was attempting to cut a small block of wood down to size to use as a spacer. Whilst using the mechanical workshop vertical band-saw his hand came into contact with the moving blade, causing a serious laceration to the back of the hand and resulting in tendon damage.

Position of hand and wood during incident
Position of hand and wood during incident
Band-saw with guard set to lowest position
Band-saw with guard set to lowest position

Our member’s investigation revealed the following:

  • Immediate causes:
    • The wood split during cutting due to the application of excessive force to the wood, which was caused by excessive wear on the blade and the incorrect positioning of the wood;
    • A ‘Push stick’ was not used;
    • An adjustable guard was not used.
  • Root causes:
    • Lack of hazard awareness/complacency – the injured person did not identify using the machine as a hazard and did not use the available safety guards and processes whilst operating the saw;
    • Uncondoned behaviour/violation – the injured person identified a fault with the saw but continued to operate it without reporting the fault.

Our member took the following actions:

  • Workshop/Yard Induction form to be reviewed and updated to include specific mention of Safety Observation Card requirements, Stop the Job requirements and section relating to machinery operation and competence;
  • Review of induction frequency requirements and inclusion into site management procedures;
  • Prepare and issue pre-use checklists for each machine with requirements for inspection prior to use, following use and reporting requirements where faults have been identified;
  • Implement locking e-stop system with controlled key access to prevent unauthorised use;
  • Update risk assessment with lessons learned from incident investigation where pertinent.

Safety Event

Published: 26 October 2012
Download: IMCA SF 11/12

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