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LTI: Hand injury in galley

What happened

An experienced cook in the galley badly injured his hand when his knife slipped. The incident occurred in a vessel alongside at Christmas. The cook was preparing meat when his knife slipped and jabbed the top left part of the palm of his left hand, causing a serious laceration.

As a consequence the cook needed surgery to repair three damaged nerves.

What went wrong

  • The cook used no PPE – butcher’s gloves;
  • The meat was not at the ideal temperature for cutting with minimum force;
  • Cutting was done by both pushing and pulling of the blade;
  • The risk of the knife slipping was neither assessed nor mitigated.

Lessons learned

  • Cut away from the hands or the body;
  • Use appropriate PPE in the galley;
  • Did the injured person feel pressure to carry on ? A person working alone also has “Stop work authority“;
  • Experience is not necessarily a fail-proof barrier or mitigation against risk.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 4 April 2023
Download: IMCA SF 09/23

Relevant life-saving rules:
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