The top 4 most common misconceptions surrounding safety knives

We all know that using knives comes with risks and we’ve all heard the horror stories of accidental cut injuries or worse experienced them yourself.

Just recently, we had a customer who had been reluctant to change over from the utility knives they had been using because they had never had a reported cut injury…they contacted us when within one week they had not one, but two cutting accidents using their utility knives.

While most businesses are at least aware of ‘safety knives’, many are still not using them. The reasons for this are varied but this article addresses some of the most common misconceptions surrounding safety knives in the workplace.

Let’s look at a few misconceptions surrounding the use of safety knives:

  1. “We don't need to use safety knives because we haven't had any cuts for a while.” This is one we hear all the time and that’s great news…but having not had any cut injuries in the past doesn’t guarantee that you won’t in the future. If a dangerous knife or tool is being used you are increasing the likelihood of it happening and it is a risk that needs to be addressed immediately. Think of it this way…you haven’t had a car accident in a while but that doesn’t mean you can stop wearing your seat belt or cancel your car insurance!

  2. Safety knives are harder to use than regular knives. In fact, safety knives require one less step than a standard utility knife to use. A regular knife requires you to engage the blade, perform the cut and retract the blade manually. With a safety knife, you also engage the blade and perform the cut, but the last step is eliminated as the safety feature retracts the blade back into the handle when contact is lost with the cutting material.

  3. Safety knives are too expensive. When you way up the direct and indirect cost of injury on business, individuals and the community spending slightly more on a safety knife is well worth the initial outlay. The level of costs can vary with the severity of an injury and while direct costs are easy to measure the indirect costs have a far greater affect. It is estimated that for every dollar spent in direct costs associated with workplace injury there are another $5-7 in indirect costs.

  4. Safety knives don't cut the wide variety of materials that regular knives do. This is true, a utility knife will cut everything…including the user! A safety knife will cut all general industrial materials, you just need to be using the right tool for the job. For example, a person cutting shrink wrap all day will be using a very different safety cutter than a person who is cutting triple wall boxes.

Whilst the above misconceptions are all legitimate concerns with a little insight and research you can see that there is not any reason why a safety knife cannot be used in replacement of a standard utility or open bladed knife.

To discuss how you can improve cutting safety in your workplace contact us today to discuss your needs.

Phone: 61 3 5940 4476

Email: info@martoraustralia.com.au

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