It was bound to happen...an accident. It started with me removing excess flash from parts on my latest project. I was holding a parts tree in my right hand while I was holding my hobby knife in my left hand...lightly, and the knife slipped! The blade tip struck my right pinky finger tip and started bleeding immediately and then the knife hit the inside of my right thigh and fell onto the floor. I grabbed a paper towel and applied pressure to my finger and started to make my way to the bathroom to take care of the wound.
I then realized that my right leg was wet! I was bleeding from my thigh...a lot! I got to the bathroom and pulled my jeans down to find that I was bleeding quite a lot from where the knife had hit my leg...blade first I applied pressure to my leg and called my wife, who was in the other room. She came running and saw all the blood running down my leg and grabbed me some paper towels. She then grabbed the phone to call an ambulance while I was putting pressure on the wound. One thing I noticed was that the blood was not spurting, just flowing, so I didn't hit an artery. I can thank my first aid training from over 30 years ago!
I told my wife, who was still on the phone with the dispatcher, that I didn't need an ambulance and the blood was clotting. She said that the ambulance was already on it's way to the house as I continued applying pressure to my leg. When the ambulance arrived and the paramedic came into the bathroom, I was sitting there examining the wound which had stopped bleeding. The wound was about 1/4 inch long and probably just as deep if not deeper. At the most, I might have nicked a vein, but thankfully, no artery! The paramedic said that I should keep pressure on the wound for a little bit longer and to call my doctor for a possible tetanis shot.
I thanked them for coming out and that I would be OK and would not need any medical attention from them nor would I need to go to the hospital. I called my doctor and I was told that I was up to date on my tetanis shot. I treated my wounds with bandages and antibiotic ointment and went to examine my blood soaked jeans. I now have a hole in my brand new jeans where the knife had struck me. I changed my clothes, grabbed a snack and a bottle of water and sat down for the rest of the afternoon.
I am now angry with myself for not having a firmer grip on the hobby knife. That probably would have prevented the accident in the first place. And, sitting closer to the bench with my legs under the bench top. As I look back at this incident, I have done all that my training has taught me...applying pressure to the wound, treatment, investigating the accident, taking action to prevent or to eliminate future accidents. I want to thank my wife Wanda, for being there for me and taking the action she thought was necessary as this certainly looked a lot more serious than it turned out to be. I am very thankful that this turned out not to be a very serious accident, but it was bad enough.
OK, now what have you folks done to prevent workbench accidents and improve safety in your work area?