Trends in ... safety tools and knives

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By Tracy Haas, editorial assistant

Fortunately for workers today, safety knives are more technologically advanced than ever.

“Safety cutters have evolved in many different ways,” said Dave Puglisi, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Mesa, CA-based Pacific Handy Cutter Inc. “It starts with a comfortable, ergonomically designed handle; fixed guard protection; safety point blades; and guards that cannot be overridden – protecting the employee at all times.” He added that good safety cutters also protect the contents inside the packaging, “which saves companies thousands of dollars annually.”

Following product safety instructions is essential, but workers must be particularly careful to do so for safety knives, as serious injuries can occur if the knives are mishandled. “The single largest misuse is when operators bypass the safety guards,” Puglisi said, citing workers rushing or taking shortcuts as other common causes of safety knife-related injuries. But these injuries can be prevented. “Using the proper tools along with employee training on proper work behaviors with proper body mechanics will correct these situations,” he said.

Still, Puglisi is aware that some workers will override safety measures if they can and offered this advice to employers: “When purchasing safety tools or knives, always select one where the guards have to be used in order for the tool to operate. Employees should never be able to bypass the safety guards.” And while employee safety is the ultimate priority, knives that cannot be overridden can help a company’s production levels as well, according to Puglisi. “Engineering the injuries out of your work processes will lead to success and a great ROI for your company,” he said. 

Safety tools and knives are designed to help workers, not hurt them. As long as employees know how to properly use these tools, injuries can be avoided and a safer workplace environment can be achieved.

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