CPSC Cuts Machetes Over Laceration Hazard

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is at it again.  Now, the CPSC has recalled the Bear Grylls Parang Machetes manufactured by Gerber because, get this, the product allegedly is a laceration hazard.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A machete has been recalled for being a laceration hazard.  Sounds ridiculous, sure.  But before we criticize the agency for its over-zealousness, we must admit that the CPSC may – at least this time – have some ground for its decision.

According to the CPSC, the machete has a weakness near the point where the handle meets the blade.  When in use, the machete’s handle or blade can break, posing a laceration hazard.  There have been 24 reports (out of 119,000 units sold) of breakages and one report of a laceration injury.  There have been no reports of injuries necessitating stitches.

Even we here at Abnormal Use can appreciate the risk of a runaway machete blade.  But is there really enough evidence to issue a recall?  With only 24 reports of breakage out of thousands sold, it is difficult to determine whether the product truly is defective. There is no evidence as to how the machetes were being used when they broke, so it is premature to comment on the product’s defectiveness in either design or manufacture.  Nevertheless, we suppose when it comes to sharp objects, an abundance of caution is necessary.  After all, we would hate to see an episode of Man vs. Wild interrupted because Grylls was injured while using the machete to make a lean-to out of an alligator carcass.

On a positive note for Gerber, with only one minor reported injury, this recall may have come early enough to avoid any potential litigation.  In the event litigation comes to fruition, however, we imagine the defense will have no problem coming up with a theme.  And, of course, the puns will run rampant.

[Hat Tip:  Boston Personal Injury News]

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