There’s one hand tool that demands your respect over many others in the workplace—a tool that can cut you to the bone in an instant… the utility knife.
In fact, nearly one-third of all injuries attributed to manual workshop tools in the U.S. involve knives with retractable blades.
Accidents involving utility knives occur for the following reasons:
- Drawing the knife towards you instead of away from your body
- Working with a dull blade that requires more pressure, increasing the potential for injury
- Trying to cut more than the knife can handle
- Improperly storing the knife with the blade extended
- Failing to wear personal protective equipment
- Neglecting to inspect the tool before use
Safety precautions to keep in mind when using utility knives:
- Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes in case a blade breaks
- Always use a sharp blade
- Wear metal mesh gloves to protect your hands
- Hand a utility knife to a co-worker with the handle first
- Consider using self-retracting blades
- Ensure the blades are properly positioned in the handle before use
- Keep extremities out of the cutting path
- Don’t apply too much pressure on the blade
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions when changing blades; don’t use utility knives to pry objects loose
- Dispose of dull or broken blades in a puncture-resistant container
As many as one-third of all manual tool injuries have been attributed to utility knives like box cutters. It only takes a moment of inattention for a blade to slip and an employee to be injured; please ensure you follow the proper safety protocols when using utility knives and any other tool.
Until next time…Work Safe & Be Safe!