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Laceration Prevention – Conducting a Knife Safety Audit

- September 4, 2018 by Leslie Stoll, CSP ARM (View all posts by Leslie)

Since lacerations injuries are usually minor, exposures are oftentimes overlooked. But, lacerations can be prevented by using the safest tool available for the job. Have you conducted a walk-  through of your facility recently with a focus on knife safety?

Conducting one will help you develop corrective actions to prevent lacerations. Below are some key things to look out for as you conduct your review:

Look for Physical Hazards

1. Look for exposed blades.

Utility knives should be retractable, have a guarded blade, or have a blade-less feature
Fixed blade knives should be sheathed in a protective case when not in use.

2. Knife blades should not be excessively long.

If you are cutting 1 inch thick material, do you need a 12 inch blade?

3. Knives should always be stored in an organized manner.

4. Look for old blades laying around and not properly disposed of.Used blades should be discarded in safety containers.

5. Assure that knives are properly assembled. Loose housing or handles are unsafe.

Look for Proper Use

1. Employees should pull the knife and not push it.

2. Employees must keep hands and other body parts out of the path of travel.

3. Employees should never use blades to pry, twist, or turn other objects.

4. Employees should use cut-resistant gloves when handling, changing or cleaning blades.

We recommend that you conduct specialized audits like these to help you focus your safety efforts.

 
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