Knives are often a part of any cutting operation line and can pose a safety risk to your employees if not handled correctly. While most sawing equipment comes with safety guards and kill switches, hand-held knives aren’t equipped with that luxury, and the safety of your employee comes down to knowing proper safe knife handling practices.
The following safety guidelines should be implemented whenever your employees are required to use hand-held knives:
- Keep knives sharp. A sharp knife makes cutting easier and reduces the risk of employees applying unsafe pressure and angles while cutting.
- Wear a cutting glove. It will keep your hand safe from cuts.
- Always cut away from yourself. Then if the knife slips, it won’t cut you.
- Use the right knife for the job. Different cutting jobs require different knives. The wrong knife will make cutting difficult and increase the risk of injury.
- Cut on a stable cutting board. A loose cutting board, or wobbly cutting surface, can easily cause knives to slip and injury employees.
- Never grab a falling knife. Never.
- Keep your eyes on the blade. You will see if the knife starts to slip or is coming dangerously close to causing an injury.
- Carry the knife pointed down, or in a scabbard. If you slip and fall, or get bumped, you’ll be glad you did. No falling onto sharp knife blades.
- Never cover a knife. A knife that can’t be seen is a dangerous knife. Always keep it where it can be seen.
- Don’t put a knife in a sink full of soapy water. Someone will stick their hand in the water and cut themselves. Wash the knife off immediately.
- Keep the cutting area clean. Any liquids or byproducts on the floor create a slip risk – something you don’t want when employees are handling knives.
The above safety guidelines will help keep your employees safe when handling knives.