Finger Laceration


What Happened?

A carpenter was using a drill press to drill holes in a piece of wood. With the drill press running and the bit rotating, the employee attempted to rearrange the piece of wood to drill another hole when the bit caught his glove and pulled his hand into the drill bit. The employee received a laceration to his right index finger requiring 8 sutures.

Contributing Factors

Worker did not follow established safe work practices by stopping the drill press before relocating the piece of wood.

Although details were not provided in the event description, it is likely that use of loose fitting PPE was not considered as a potential hazard.

What Can We Learn?


A Self Check would have ensured he thought out the task to be performed, before he started the evolution.

A Questioning Attitude could have helped the worker consider the worst thing that could happen and evaluate the consequences vs. the likelihood of a worst case scenario.


The worker displayed Overconfidence in his ability to perform this task while the drill press was still running.

Time Pressure may have contributed to the worker’s decision to reposition the wood without stopping the drill.

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?