A section of stainless steel insulation required to be moved along a section of 6-inch pipework within a warehouse location. This involved holding the insulation jacket in place and sliding the pipework through. It was considered to be a low risk operation and required no tools or mechanical assistance.
Whilst holding the section of stainless steel insulation, the pipe stuck and the material slipped within his hand. This caused the insulation jacket to move and the technician instinctively put his hand on the edge to stop it. However, his hand became trapped between the steel edge and a section of racking. This caused a deep laceration on the inside of one of his fingers and the technician was taken to hospital for treatment.
It took over 3 months for the technician to fully recover.
Wherever possible, physical contact between hands and sharp edges must be avoided through use of barriers such as wooden blocks or push rods.
Regardless of the duration of the job or whether the technician intends to make contact with a sharp edge, appropriate gloves MUST be worn; remember the technician in this incident did not intend to touch the sharp edge but moved his hand out of instinct (think about dropping a knife in a kitchen and grabbing it before you have a chance to think).