The corrugated shipping box is here to stay. It’s been around for nearly 150 years, and its future still looks pretty secure. But this shipping mainstay has contributed to, let’s just say, lots of unfortunate job-related injuries over the years. And, to this day, it poses an on-the-job safety risk if not handled correctly.
Fortunately, OLFA has a whole line of safety knives that dramatically reduce injuries and shrinkage when it comes to dealing with corrugated materials on the job.
- The OLFA® SK-4 is ideal for cutting light to heavy-duty corrugated materials. It features a slip-resistant handle for improved grip and a self-retracting blade for increased knife safety.
- The OLFA® SK-6 has a shielded blade with a spring-activated guard that extends over the blade as it loses contact with the corrugated surface.
- The OLFA® SK-8 has a spring-loaded retractable blade that retracts after losing contact with the corrugate, even if the thumb remains on the blade activator.
- And the OLFA® SK-9 has a built-in metal utility pick for all kinds of on-the-job uses. Tuck in carpet, split tape, pull staples, remove wall plates or open cans. Plus, safely handle all corrugated materials.
OLFA safety knives feature a blade safety mechanism that snaps the blade back into the housing automatically at the end of every cut. Users simply extend the blade, remove thumb from blade activator and cut through the sealing tape or carton lid. By eliminating the need to manually retract the blade, these knives can prevent accidents that commonly occur when a worker inserts an extended blade into their pocket at the end of a cut.
And blade changes? They’re a cinch. Just rotate the blade or change it without the need for additional tools.
The versatile OLFA line of safety knives accept different types of blades. For example, the SK-4 and SK-9 accept three types of replacement blades:
- DUAL-EDGE BLADE—Use for cutting corrugated cartons where the potential for inner content damage is minimal.
- ROUNDED-TIP BLADE—Use to open cartons where inner contents might be easily damaged by a sharp tip.
- HOOK BLADE—Use to safely slice through stretch or shrink film, string, rope or nylon banding.
SAFE CARDBOARD CUTTING AND HANDLING TECHNIQUES
Inspect cartons for signs of damage or leaking. If a damaged carton contains powder, aerosol cans, liquid, flammable or hazardous chemicals, don’t open it. For leaking flammable materials, locate a fire extinguisher. Place any damaged carton in a waste container and move it to a secure area designed to contain spills. Then report the damage according to procedures.
Inspect carton flaps for evidence of staples. Often staples may be covered with carton sealing tape. Exercise caution when cutting around box-sealing staples to prevent damage to the cutting blade.
Always draw the knife away from your body. Maintain a safe distance from co-workers and customers as you cut.
Use the tape splitter (SK-9 knife) to split paper and plastic shipping tape. This will prevent damage to interior carton contents, such as plastic bags or bottles of liquid.
Use caution when cutting cardboard from displays. When removing carton flaps and side panels to form shelf-displays, pull the cardboard away from the interior product and aim the cutting blade away from your hand as you cut.
Change the blade as soon as it’s dull. A dull blade skates across the cardboard and can slide off the desired cutting path, increasing the chances for injury and product damage.
Safety around compactors. When loading cardboard waste into a compactor or baling machine, observe all safety warnings and ensure that all safety guards are in place before operating the equipment.
Place cardboard cutoffs in a wheeled cart or waste receptacle. Stacking on the floor or attempting to carry a stack of cardboard to the recycling area is an accident waiting to happen. Stacks fall over and present a slip-and-fall hazard to personnel and customers. Hand-carrying large stacks of cardboard can obstruct a person’s view and increase the likelihood of tripping or knocking things over.
Do not dispose of used blades in trash bins. Discard used blades in an approved receptacle, such as OLFA® blade disposal cases or cans, to prevent injury.