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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 201127974 - Employee'S Finger Is Amputated While Cutting Frozen Shrimp

Accident: 201127974 -- Report ID: 0950613 -- Event Date: 12/28/2010
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
31009910601/12/20115812Fu Lam Mum, Inc.
At approximately 7:00 p.m. on December 28, 2010, Employee #1, a kitchen assistant whose duties including janitorial and food preparation tasks, was assigned the job of preparing shrimp for use by the cooks at a restaurant in Mountain View, CA. Because no thawed shrimp was available, Employee #1 was tasked to divide a solidly frozen block of shrimp in a plastic bag into smaller portions. He used a cleaver with a blade that was approximately 4 inches tall by 8 inches long. Employee #1 stated that he had performed this task several times during his employment. He was predominately right handed and routinely held the cleaver and other knives in his right hand when he was assigned food prep tasks. Employee #1 placed the frozen bag of shrimp on a chopping block, which was placed on the draining shelf of an industrial sink. A kitchen towel was placed under the block to reduce potential movement of the block on the uneven surface. Employee #1 stated that he had made a couple of cuts and on the third cut, a mass of shrimp and frozen liquid became stuck on the blade edge. As he held the bag in place with his left hand, he brought the cleaver down, with the frozen material still on the cutting edge. Employee #1 stated that he intended for the blade to land a few inches away from his finger, but instead, upon impact, the cleaver skewed offline and onto his left index finger. This resulted in complete amputation of his left index finger tip at the distal phalange joint, equaling somewhat over one inch of his finger. Employee #1 was taken to Stanford Hospital, where he was treated for the injury in the Emergency Room. Reattachment of the amputated section was not attempted. The Mountain View Fire Department reported the accident to the Foster City office at approximately 7:58 a.m. on December 29, 2010. It was noted that knives and cleavers were commonly used to cut frozen shrimp bags in the kitchen of the restaurant. Per Cal/OSHA regulations, hand protection was required when unusual or excessive exposure occurred. No accident-related violation was issued. Apparently, the employer was issued citations for failure to report a work-related serious injury resulting in permanent disfigurement and failure to document health and safety training as part of an Illness & Injury Prevention Program. The employer was also issued citations related to blocked access of workspace in front of circuit breaker panels, no strain relief on the power cord to the heating rack, and insufficient aisle space in the pantry area.
Keywords: knife, amputated, food preparation, finger, frozen, untrained
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 310099106 Non Hospitalized injury Amputation Kitchen workers, food preparation

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