Improper Tool Usage (KV39)


What Happened?

An Electrician received a laceration across the back of his right hand when he bumped into another electrician who was stripping the protective jacket off an electrical cable using a self-retracting razor knife. While the first electrician was stripping the cable jacket, the second electrician  attempted to walk by and bumped into the first technician. At this point, the self-retracting utility knife came off of the cable and came in contact with the backside of the second technician's right hand. The second technician had the same PPE on as the first technician (hard hat, safety glasses, ear plug and cut resistant glove). However, since the second technician was completing paperwork, a glove was not worn on the right hand.

Contributing Factors

The use of pocketknives, box cutters, and similar tools to cut or strip cable was prohibited by procedure at this facility.

What Can We Learn?


A Questioning Attitude could have helped them consider the consequences of using the wrong tool and the worst thing that could happen. 

Had he performed a Self Check he would have realized he was not wearing both of his gloves.


Time Pressure may have lead the workers to proceed with the task without out obtaining the proper tool for wire stripping.

Overconfidence may have been a factor – the electricians thought they could perform the task safely without the proper tool.

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?