Risk area cutting injuries

Cutting injuries from knives, razors, or other sharp objects like metal are common in work environments and are often the main cause of sick leave in the workplace. Cutting a tendon or ligament can result in long-term sick leave and, in the worst case, a lifelong disability. This risk is reason enough to protect our hands with the right protective glove adapted to the work environment.


Our skin is made up of three layers, the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. These protect us from most everyday risks. However, the skin provides poor protection against cutting injuries.


By cutting injuries, we usually mean different degrees of wounds. A wound can cause anything from irritation to permanent limited function. Cutting injuries usually do not include saw injuries caused by, for example, a band saw, machine saw/grinder that cause significantly larger and more extensive injuries. These risks are mainly eliminated by changing the work environment (difficult to protect oneself against).

What causes cutting injuries in the work environment?

The most common occupational injury is cutting injuries to the hands, often of a non-life-threatening nature. For example, knives, razors, cartons/paper, and other sharp materials such as metal.


Our hands are exposed to many different risks in different work environments, which makes it important to choose the right type of work glove to minimize the risk of accidents. The glove should be correctly marked and documented to meet the requirements. They must not contain substances harmful to health that can cause allergic reactions. Choosing a glove can be difficult as there are many different types of gloves adapted to different work areas. When choosing gloves, fingertip sensitivity and grip can be two important factors for you to be able to perform your work while feeling safe and secure. Other important factors are that the seams should be in the right place and that the glove should be flexible, comfortable, and durable. Once you know which model meets your needs, the next step is to choose the correct size. An important part of choosing a glove is to always try on your work glove as all hands are different! A glove that does not fit correctly creates risks for both injuries and abrasions.

What do the different cut protection levels mean and what level do you need?

There are different cut protection levels, A-F, which are important to know when working with sharp objects. The level of cut protection you need depends entirely on the job you are performing and how great the risk is. If you are unsure, ask your safety representative in the workplace who has access to the company's risk analysis. The table below shows general guidelines that are only indicative.

Cut protection level Example of industry Comment
A-B Warehouse work, light assembly work. Level A and B are usually sufficient for work with lower risks.
C-D Car assembly, construction work, work with oil and gas. Level C and D are usually sufficient for work with medium-high risks.
E-F Work in heavy industry, metal and glass manufacturing.

Level E and F are usually sufficient for work with high risks

Tips to consider when choosing cut protection gloves:

  1. Conduct an overall risk assessment of the work environment - where are the biggest risks?
  2. Evaluate the work tasks performed - what sharp objects are present and what type of cutting injury does the user risk being exposed to? Is it possible to perform the work in a different way to remove the risk of cutting injury?
  3. Assess the properties that the glove should have for the work task, such as material or cut protection level.