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High school student sustains a partial fingertip amputation while using a jointer in wood shop - Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 14MA1NF, 2015 Dec; :1-8
In 2014, a 9th grade student enrolled in a regional comprehensive high school that also offered some shop classes partially amputated a fingertip. The student was operating a wood jointer in shop class when the student's left hand middle finger came in contact with the jointer's cutting head. Immediately after the incident occurred, the student informed the substitute teacher in charge about the injury. The student was brought to the school nurse who placed a call for emergency medical services (EMS). The local police and EMS arrived at the incident location within minutes. The victim was transported to a local hospital where the partially amputated fingertip was reattached and the victim was then released from the hospital. Contributing factors identified in this investigation included lack of comprehensive standard operating procedures, not having access to the jointer operator's manual, and inexperience. Another contributing factor was the limitations of the jointer's guard. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health concluded that to prevent similar occurrences in the future, schools with shop classes should: 1. Develop, implement, and enforce standard operating procedures for operating machinery; 2. Develop guidelines to ensure students have a clear understanding of the task they will be performing; and 3. Provide shop environments that, at a minimum, meet all relevant Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations to protect students and school employees from injury. In addition, equipment manufacturers should: 4. Perform comprehensive product assessments based on the Prevention through Design (PtD) concept to identify potential hazards and then eliminate these hazards through design changes.
Region-1; Accident analysis; Accident potential; Accident prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury prevention; Education; Safety education; Woodworking; Woodworking equipment; Prevention through design; PTD; Hand injuries; Tools; Machine tools; Cutting tools; Standards; Machine operation; Machine operators; Machine guarding; Equipment design; Equipment testing; Hazard controls
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
Identifying No.
FACE-14MA1NF; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008490
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division