Safety knives are incredibly useful within a wide variety of industries. The need for a portable cutting implement which poses very little threat to the safety of employees has obvious advantages and a huge number of applications.
Just as with any piece of equipment to be used within the workplace, there are a thousand things to consider when looking at buying disposable safety knives. From the safety of your employees to the cost of buying in bulk, this is one transaction which needs plenty of thought.
Here, we consider several things which companies must look into when purchasing disposable safety knives. Whether you’re looking for a handful of small blades to help your small packing team or a larger number of longer knives to distribute throughout a large warehouse, taking the process seriously is a matter of some importance.
The issue of safety
It’s no secret that health and safety plays an increasingly important role in the workplace today. Not only is it a legal requirement that your employees are properly equipped with the items they need to carry out their job safely, but the supply of safety equipment has also become a moral imperative.
As you can see from the information provided by the Health and Safety Executive website, knives are a matter of utmost importance when it comes to workplace safety. While knives are deemed to be necessary to a number of positions, it is the responsibility of the employer to see that the knives provided are both safe and functional.
The issue of knives in the workplace is made somewhat complicated by the fact that their functionality is the same feature which determines their danger. A blunt knife proves far safer to employees but it is inevitably less useful than a sharp implement. When purchasing a safety knife, it is important to strike the correct balance between functionality and safety.
The great thing about disposable safety knives is that they are designed to provide both functionality and safety – and are able to do so on a budget. This means your workers can use tools which aid their job without putting themselves at unnecessary risk although you’ll need to give them appropriate safety training on how to use knives and other such tools first.
Designed for the workplace
While they might seem like relatively simple implements, there are actually a huge number of possibilities built into the design of a knife. Safety knives take a number of things into consideration with a view to providing the best experience for those in a working environment.
This can consider everything from providing an optimal cutting angle which allows the user to open boxes and packages with the least chance of sustaining an injury to using an ergonomic handle which allows items to be cut with just a small amount of pressure.
How long should disposable knives be kept and used?
As with many things in the world of business, the issue of how long disposable items should be used comes down to balance and cost. If your employees are demanding new knives on a daily basis, this is likely to pose too great a cost to your business. Conversely, if your employees attempt to push a disposable item beyond its natural life span then you could run into problems.
When the blade on a disposable safety knife is no longer sharp enough to cut even the weakest of materials, this is sure to slow your employees and end up costing the business in the long run. It could also increase the risk of injury as they put more pressure behind the implement in an attempt to make an incision.
Your employees may be best positioned to make a judgement on the lifespan of each disposable item but you should introduce guidelines to help them. The lifespan is inevitably dependent on the frequency with which each knife is used and the materials which it is used to cut but by setting a periodic inspection of these tools or issuing new items to a set schedule you could help ensure no employee is using an unsafe blade.
Safety in use
Training is an important aspect of health and safety in the workplace. Simply purchasing knives which are considered to be among the safest on the market is not always enough to protect your employees from injury – or your business from the potential legal battles which could ensue following an accident with knives at work.
There is plenty of information provided online by the HSE which not only highlights the importance of the responsible use of knives but offers actionable tips on their safe use. They claim that 10% of major injuries reported to them in food and drink industries occur when workers are hit by a moving object – such as a falling object or slipped hand knife. This represents the third largest category of injuries with the total number of injuries sustained in this way equivalent to 700 per year.
Further reports suggest cut injuries are the second biggest injury category for near enough every business so you can see why safety is important.
Francesca Holmes is a writer and editor for InterSafety. In her spare time, she is a keen angler and enjoys relaxing by the lake with her husband and the couple’s two young daughters.