How to safely use a box knife

Nov 5, 2020
Written by wpengine

Stockrooms are filling up with holiday merchandise and we are seeing an increase of razor knife lacerations. Do you know if your employees are using their box cutters properly? Follow up to make sure that they know how to use these simple tools and how to properly change the blades.

Here are the fundamentals:

  1. Always be sure that blades are properly seated and fastened in the holder.
  2. Always use sharp blades. A dull blade uses more force and is more likely to slip than a sharp one. Change the blade whenever it starts to tear instead of cut.
  3. Always keep your free hand (and other body parts) out of the line of cutting. Wear a cut resistant Kevlar glove on your free hand when cutting with a razor knife.
  4. Always pull, never push the knife.
  5. Don’t bend or apply side pressure to the blade by using it to open cans, loosen screws or pry something open. Blades are brittle and will break easily.
  6. When using a knife to cut through thick material, be patient. Make several passes cutting through the material deeper with each pass.
  7. Never leave a blade open. Close the blade when not in use.
  8. When replacing the old blade, cover the sharp sides and points with a couple layers of tape and dispose of properly.

RS SafetyTV has a short video on utility knife safety. There is also a module on this in the SAFEME Essentials app.

Rick Means, WR’s Director of Safety & Education, is available to help members with safety plans and ideas for safely meetings. Contact him at 360-200-6454 or [email protected].