Safety Tip of the Week – Utility Knife Safety

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 and instant….the utility knife.

In fact, nearly one-third of all injuries attributed to manual workshop tools in the US 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; and
  • 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 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; and
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions when changing blades. Don’t use utility knives to pry objects loose.

Many manual tool injuries have been attributed to utility knives box cutters. Improper use or handling could result in a slip and you could be injured.

Download flyer: STOTW_916_UtilityKnifeSafety

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_916_UtilityKnifeSafety_esp

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