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MSF: Cut Hand Whilst Cleaning / Hand Safety

The Marine Safety Forum (MSF) has published Safety Alert 21-10 relating to a crew member who suffered an unpleasant cut to the hand whilst engaged in routine cleaning.

What happened

Whilst cleaning cabinets in the galley area, a crew member on a vessel sustained a bad cut to the hand from a sharp edge. This resulted in a section of skin being sliced off. The MSF notes that this was yet another preventable injury caused during a routine job.

During our work and daily lives, we use our hands continuously, our hands are valuable and need proper care. When it comes to protecting different parts of the body from lacerations, hands are the most important. Hand injuries are difficult to repair because of the complexity of the hand.

The MSF notes that most hand injuries can be associated with:

  • Working with machinery or equipment;
  • The materials being used or the job process being hazardous;
  • Hand tools or powered hand tools that may be faulty or improperly used.

The MSF notes that the most common causes of hand injuries are:

  • Sharp edges;
  • Lack of awareness;
  • Disregard for safety procedures;
  • Distractions.

Actions/lessons learned

  • Whilst cleaning always be aware of sharp edges;
  • Ensure safety checks in the galley are performed and if sharp edges are discovered they are removed, or a warning sign is put in place;
  • Use most appropriate type of safety gloves for task being performed and check equipment used for cleaning;
  • Hand and finger safety to be added to the risk assessments.

IMCA and the MSF think alike on this matter, that hand and finger safety is an area where the greatest focus may be needed. Please STOP and think!! Watch your hands – you’ve only got one set!!

Members may wish to review:

Safety Event

Published: 12 July 2021
Download: IMCA SF 19/21

Relevant life-saving rules:
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