From Amazon warehouses to the factory floor, thousands of workers depend on safety knives to get important jobs done, but with an extra layer of injury-preventing protection.
As the safety knife becomes more popular, however, the number of options safety managers can choose from has dramatically increased. Between concealed blades, semi-automatic and fully automatic knives, the decision to go with one style over another really depends on the task at hand.
To determine which safety knife is right for your application, there are four important questions to ask:
- “What will employees be cutting?” Because there are so many different types of safety knives, material matters.
- “What is the thickness of the material?” How thick a material is dictates how long a knife’s blade exposure should be.
- “What knife do my employees currently use?” If the answer is “none,” then an entry-level safety knife may be preferred. If the answer is “entry level,” that brings you to the last question:
- “Why is entry level not working, and what new safety specs do we need?” Employees familiar with entry-level safety knives may be able to override the safety features which means the company may require an accelerated version of a safety knife to further reduce accidents.
Considerations for the Safety Manager
When determining the right knife for the right application, the most important thing a safety manager needs to consider is the rate of adoption. Employees will be naturally resistant to change, so a safety manager must be confident that it will be easy to swap out the mechanism employees currently use for a new safety product.
Quality remains critical; a safety knife can come with every bell and whistle, but if it doesn’t cut, you’ve lost your employees on the first application. Having a product that works well with high quality blades helps safety managers get their people on board right away.
Training is integral in helping employees understand how a safety product works and how easy it is to use. Many manufacturers, such as OLFA North America, provide free knife safety training for companies switching to new products.
A Safer Future
No industry thinks about knife safety the same way; it all comes back to specific job functions, what kind of material is being cut and where the material is being cut. Yet while knife safety remains a priority in every industry, safety knives will continue to evolve to ensure they aren’t just doing the cutting – they’re keeping users safe as well.