Repeated fingertip injuries caused by slicers
One of the common kitchen tools is a slicer for cutting vegetables and other food efficiently.
Some people injured their fingertips when using a slicer and NCAC issued an alert on this problem in August 2009. Even after that, however, similar accidents were repeated. Then NCAC issued an alert again in February 2013.
In five and half years from fiscal 2017, the Medical Facilities Network1 received 87 reports on injuries caused by slicers and PIO-NET2 received 18 harmful and hazardous accident reports related to slicers. A slicer may cut off the skin and subcutaneous tissue of fingertips. In that case, it is difficult to stop bleeding and it may take a certain period of time to heal such an injury.
It is possible to lower the risk of injury by using a food safety holder (hereafter called "a safety holder "). If a safety holder is held in the wrong way, however, a user can get injured.
Then NCAC decided to examine injuries caused by slicers and to issue a consumer alert.
- 1 The Medical Facilities Network is a joint project by the Consumer Affairs Agency and NCAC which started operating from December 2010. The network collects accident reports on people receiving treatment at medical facilities after suffering life-threatening or bodily injuries in their daily lives.
- 2 PIO-NET is a database that collects information on inquiries concerning consumer affairs by linking NCAC with local consumer affairs centers and similar organizations across Japan via an online network.
Injuries when slicing
- The cutting speed was faster than I expected. Then I got my finger injured.
- When I applied force, my hand slipped and touched the blade of the slicer. My fingertips were strongly scratched by the blade.
- When slicing an onion held with my bare hand, I got my middle finger injured with the slicer.
- When holding and slicing a carrot, my thumb slipped. My fingertip was scraped off about 5 mm or so at an angle by the blade.
Injuries when not slicing
- When I carelessly touched a slicer in a drawer, my right middle finger was cut.
- When washing a slicer, I mistakenly touched the blade and my finger was cut.
Examination of slicer injuries
- When a vegetable is getting smaller and/or when a user's hand slips, fingers can touch the blade.
- When a safety holder is wrongly used, a user can get injured.
- Fingers can touch the blade even when not slicing.
Labeling and representation
- All the tested products are provided with precautions against hand injuries when slicing on package boxes or in instruction manuals.
- All the tested products are provided with information on how to handle and store the products after use on package boxes or in instruction manuals.
Photo1. As cabbage getting smaller, dummy fingers touch the blade
Photo2.Dummy fingers touch the blade when the dummy hand slips
- * The product on the photo has nothing to do with the incidents.
- * Dummy hands were used for the product test.
Advice for consumers
- Since a slicer has a blade, injury may occur unexpectedly when a slicer is carelessly and improperly handled or used. Read the instruction manual before use and handle a slicer with care.
- There is a risk of injury even when not slicing. Take extra care when handling and storing a slicer.
Video: Repeated fingertip injuries caused by slicers (Japanese version)
Request to businesses
- Further raise consumer awareness about the risk of injury caused by a slicer and how to use it safely. Develop safer slicers.
Request for cooperation from online shopping mall operators
- Remind consumers and online sellers the risk of injury caused by a slicer and how to use it safely.
Request to the government
- Raise consumer awareness about the risk of injury caused by a slicer and how to use it safely.
- Encourage businesses to consider developing safer slicers.