Microtome Use: Hazards and Precautions


A microtome is a device that cuts extremely thin sections of tissue for microscopic study. They can be manually operated, semi-automatic, or automatic, and can also be referred to as “histomes” and “cryostats.” Microtomes can present a hazard when the sharp blades and foot treadles are uncovered, and accidental activation can lead to finger amputation. In 2008 a health care lab worker in San Diego lost a fingertip while preparing and cutting tissue samples on a microtome.

Office of Environment, Health & Safety
Publication date: 
July 31, 2013
Publication type: 
Fact Sheet