Re: microtome knife safety

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From:"" <>
To:Marylou Pohl <>

Date sent:      	Mon, 24 Apr 2000 22:12:49 -0700
From:           	Marylou Pohl <>
Subject:        	microtome knife safety
To:             	"" <>

> We had 2 incidents of employees knicking their finger on a microtome
> knife in the past year.  No stitches, just superficial cuts.  One was
> experienced and the other a newer employee.  Our safety committee wants
> us to investigate use of special gloves to prevent this. They don't
> understand how Histology works.  I think this is overkill and feel that
> just being more careful will be a step in the right direction.  I also
> know there are knife protectors I could look into however what I've seen
> limit the space you have to work.

Only two! I assume you are talking about disposable blades and 
not solid knives (and paraffin histology).There will always be risks 
when using any type of blade for any purpose, not just from the cut 
but also infective material. 
Perhaps you should invite your safety committee to observe how 
difficult it would be to use the type of glove that would resist 
cutting/needle stick injury when cutting sections. I don't think you 
could do any more than identifying this potential hazard give the 
appropriate training, and record any accidents.
If I had to wear increasing amounts of protective clothing every time 
I cut myself doing DIY then I would be in a suit of armour by now.

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