Knife Safety – Are Your Employees Equipped To Be Safe On The Job?

“But, I’ve never cut myself before!”

You might have heard this statement – maybe the last time you considered training your employees on knife safety.

Although most of your employees probably feel capable of using a safety knife on the job, proper training is important to ensure that the potential for injuries is minimised, along with protecting the productivity and profits of your business.

Recently, MARTOR worked with a major international confectionery company to implement a safety knife policy and proper training procedures – and in 12-months, they managed to reduce incidents involving cutting tools by 92% across the board!

Knife injuries do happen – but the main reason they occur in the workplace is due to improper use. If employees are not properly trained on how to use their cutting tools or on the safety precautions they should take while using them, your business is going to have to fork out for medical leave, lost productivity… even fines and re-hiring or training costs.

Do you have a safety knife training program in your business? This teaches your employees foundational safety skills such as; how to operate their knives, how to safely change the blades, which knives to use when and with what materials, how to store them correctly and what to do in the event of an injury.

Amazing training results from our MARTOR client:

We worked alongside this international client to implement a new safety knife policy across their eight manufacturing plants in Australia and New Zealand.

An initial audit, including consultations and risk assessments, helped us identify that exposed blade knives were being used at all of their facilities – resulting in 60 cut injuries over a 4-year period.

They understood the value of implementing new policies to reduce the rate of injuries and the expense to their company in the long term, so, in consultation with MARTOR, the following steps were put into place:

  • Implemented a range of standardized cutting tools across all sites

  • Implemented a ‘one safety knife supplier’ policy (MARTOR)

  • Created an employee safety knife policy

  • Introduced a knife amnesty where employees could surrender unapproved knives

  • Provided training and competency sessions

  • Introduced a safety knife register to track safety knives

With this training and the new processes in place, this company managed to reduce incidents involving cutting tools by 92% across the board in less than 12 months! And in the following 12 months, they went on to eliminate cut injuries altogether by increasing their employee’s safety knife capabilities, and improving controls and awareness of safety knives and proper maintenance.

Training is vital to protect your employees as they use safety knives, and to ensure your business minimises its risks and financial losses.

What does your business need to do to implement a knife safety policy?

  1. Conduct an audit on the current knives in use to identify cutting tasks, materials being cut, how often cuts are being made, the cutting/work environment, level of safety required, and features required. (Download the free MARTOR audit form)

  2. Using the data from your audit, create a safety knife policy that ensures the company, team leaders and employees are equipped with the proper cutting tools and information to use them safely.

The policy could include:

  • Removing use of open bladed knives

  • Standardising cutting tools across all sites

  • Introducing a knife amnesty where employees can surrender unapproved knives

  • Information on training and competency sessions to be provided prior to use

  • A safety knife register to track safety knives

When done correctly, a knife safety program is an invaluable, long-term investment in workplace safety and the overall performance of your company.

Talk to us today about creating and implementing the right safety policy for your business – give our team a call on 03 5940 4476 to see how we can help.

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