Injury-proned employee

I have a young lady on my staff that has cut herself 4 times since she’s worked for me (1 1/2 years). I’m fairly positive that all of the cuts were accidents and she’s not looking for a free ride on my workman’s comp policy. She’s a good employee; I just think she’s a bad user of sharp objects.

Two of her injuries required stitches. Today, she was cutting zucchini and cut a slice off a small tip of her index finger. I have shown her on several occasions that she should keep her finger tips bent in and faced downwards, but obviously wasn’t doing that today.

I’m seriously thinking about getting one of those chainmaille gloves (you know the kind butchers wear) for this girl. Besides diverting all tasks that require her to use knives and other sharp instruments, what else can I do to protect her (and myself)?

Is there any hope for her?

I’d definitely get her some metal mesh gloves and have her put a rubber or vinyl glove over them. That works wonders.

Why the rubber or vinyl glove over it? Is that for better sanitation?

Yup, exactly. And it helps from keeping bits of food stuck out of there and also makes the contact surface smoother for handling of vegetables and things.

I bought a chainmail glove on e-bay for $50 and it works a treat.

We just use it as it is and wash it thorougly. I don’t think there is any need for a vynil glove IMO.


There is plenty of work in a pizza shop that does not require knives. Put her to work on that stuff!

You can go to a sporting goods store, even Wal-mart, and look at the filet gloves for fishing. These are not as good as the chain gloves, but will work at a more economical price.
If she is only doing “standard” prep, these will be ok. If she is doing a lot of prep, she may be getting fatiqued. Find out how long she has been using the knife when she gets hurt.
Is it right at the beginning or toward the end of the prep list?
Just food for thought.

4 times isn’t really that much in a year an a half…but she must not be paying 100% attention to her job to cut herself so badly she’s needed stitches 2 times out of the 4.

Some people just are accidents waiting to happen. I’m not so sure I’d get a $50 glove for something someone else could do without incident…I would just put her on another part of the prep and let someone else handle the knives.