Hand lacerations and job design characteristics in line-paced assembly

J Occup Environ Med. 2003 Aug;45(8):848-56. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000083032.56116.88.


This study investigated risk factors for laceration injuries among workers employed in line-paced manufacturing assembly operations. Most lacerations (76% of 576) occurred on the hands and fingers (grouped as "hand" lacerations). On average, 37% of surveyed workers reported at least one laceration to the hand in the preceding year, resulting in an overall hand laceration rate of 83 per 100 workers per year. An inverse relationship was found between level of job routinization and hand lacerations, with progressively higher rates of hand lacerations occurring among workers assigned to less routine (more variable) work patterns. Fabricated metal parts handling and job variability may be related to increased risk of hand lacerations in line-paced work environments where personal protective equipment is the primary strategy to control exposure to sharp objects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Ergonomics*
  • Female
  • Hand Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Hand Injuries / etiology
  • Humans
  • Industry*
  • Job Description*
  • Lacerations / epidemiology*
  • Lacerations / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Workforce