As the Holidays are fast approaching, lacerations from box cutters typically skyrocket because retail employees are busy unboxing inventories to meet customer demand.
The fingers and thumb of the free hand are especially vulnerable if the worker doesn’t pay close attention while opening or breaking down boxes.
Management needs to train workers on the safe use of box knives. Follow these tips when working with box cutter knives:
- Always wear cut-resistant Kevlar gloves when using a utility knife of any type.
- Ensure blades are securely installed and fastened to the handle.
- Always use sharp blades. Dull blades require more force when cutting, leading to an increased likelihood of accidents.
- Always keep the body and free hand out of the cutting path, especially when using the free hand to stabilize what is being cut.
- Always pull the blade while keeping the knife at a low angle. Pushing a knife or drawing from a more vertical angle reduces stability and control.
- Do not use knives for any purpose other than what they are intended for. Knife blades are brittle and break easily if used to pry, screw, or apply pressure.
- When cutting thick materials, make several passes, cutting deeper on each pass.
- Close or cover blades when not in use – never leave a blade exposed.
- Dispose of used blades by placing them in a sharps container or cover the sharp edge and point with thick tape before placing them in the trash.
Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, is available to help members with safety. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected].