People employed in the back of the house of a restaurant often work around sharp knives and blades. These workers are at a risk of amputating a finger or thumb if they aren’t paying attention to what they are doing while they work, often in stuffy, hot conditions.
These amputations are very serious matters for several reasons. There is a risk of major blood loss. There is also a risk of infection, especially due to the presence of raw meat in the back of house area.
Using proper safety techniques can help to prevent these injuries. Some power equipment, such as shavers and slicers, should have guards in place to prevent accidentally slicing yourself. If the equipment isn’t in good shape, it should be taken out of service until the equipment can be repaired or replaced.
Knife safety is a serious matter that all back of house workers should receive training in. Special gloves might help to prevent an accidental amputation. You should hold the items you are cutting carefully and keep your full attention on your job duties while you are cutting.
The primary focus when an amputation does occur should be to stop the bleeding. Applying pressure to the wound is likely going to cause the person extreme pain. However, this is necessary to try to staunch possibly life-threatening blood flow.
If possible, someone can get the severed portion of the finger to try to preserve it for the medical team. Wrap it in a damp, clean cloth and place it in a sealed bag. Put that bag into another bag that has some ice in it. This can help to keep the digit suitable for reattachment if that is feasible.
There is a good chance that the fingertip might not be able to be reattached. Instead, the open wound will likely be cleaned up and surgeons will work to close the area up so it can start to heal. Antibiotics are likely going to be prescribed to help prevent an infection.
From a practical standpoint, you might find that you need to relearn how to use the impacted finger. This could lead to physical and occupational therapy. You might find that the medical bills and other expenses are piling up fast. Workers’ compensation could help to cover the medical bills and lost wages if you have to miss work.