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MSF: Routine task – badly cut finger changing mop head

The Marine Safety Forum has published a safety flash regarding an incident in which someone suffered a painful cut to the finger whilst engaged in a ‘routine’ cleaning task. He was in the process of changing a sponge mop head. Whilst attempting to fit a new mop head he saw that one of the retaining channels had glue in it which was preventing it from fitting the holder. He tried to clear out the glue with his pocket knife and in doing so he slipped and sustained a cut to the left index finger. The cut was quite deep, partially severing the flexor tendon and damaging the associated nerve. A surgery was required to repair the damage.

The incident highlights failure to manage change properly. The injured person deviated from the original intent to carry out ‘routine’ cleaning duties, and instead attempted to fix a new problem with the mop head with the tools and facilities to hand, without recognizing the inherent risks of the new task.

Members may wish to refer to the following similar incidents (key words: knife slipped):

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