The more you know about the proper use of knives, the safer you are while completing your everyday work tasks
1. Stay focused.
You might have done this task a thousand times, but if you let your mind wander and your hands go on autopilot, the higher the chances of an accident on the 1,001st time!
2. Learn the right tool for the right job.
Make sure you are trained and up-to-date on the latest tools – especially which to use and when. Knives aren’t a one-size-fits-all tool, and it can even depend on the materials you are working with, e.g. cutting cardboard and plastic will take a different technique and tool than when cutting carpet and other textiles.
3. Let it go!
While your reflexes might want to kick in when you drop a knife, just let it fall. Don’t attempt to catch it with your hands – the floor will cope with the blade much better than your fingers!
4. Use a proper cutting surface.
Always cut any material on a stable, level surface. Use a sturdy table or quality cutting board and hold it securely in place (with a protected hand) while using your knife. Never try to make a quick, freehand cut, even if it feels like it will save time – take those extra few seconds and save yourself potential injury.
5. Maintain your tools.
A sharp, well-maintained knife will make your job safer and easier, as it requires less force to use. Make sure you are replacing the blades regularly as you’re more likely to lose control of a knife with a dull blade because of overcompensating with extra pressure for each cut.
6. Shut and store.
Whenever it’s not in use – lock it and store it away safely. Knives must be stored in quality sheaths, with utility knives being stored with the blade retracted. This protects both you and your workmates from accidentally coming into contact with an open blade.
7. Cut away…
Never cut any material toward your body. If the blade could hit you or go through the material if you lost control of the knife – then it’s not worth the risk. Create safe cutting habits so it becomes natural to cut away, and feels wrong to cut towards yourself and you’ll be safer in the long run!
8. Protect your hands.
Never cut with bare hands. Always use protective gloves, such as wearing a Kevlar glove on the hand which is holding the material secure to protect against accidental slips.