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Safety tips for workers who use knives

If your employees use knives on a regular basis, there is a chance that they could suffer serious injuries. A knife wound can range in severity from something minor that can be tended to at the workplace with first aid materials, to something catastrophic that requires immediate emergency medical attention at the hospital.

In order to prevent serious knife-related injuries, here are a few pieces of advice that every worker and manager should keep in mind:

  • Make sure knives are sharp and inform staff each time knives get sharpened. A knife is less likely to slip when it's sharp and functioning properly, so in many respects, a sharp knife is safer to use. Nevertheless, your staff needs to know after a knife is sharpened due to the difference in handling and performance.
  • Don't touch the blade of a knife. Touching a knife blade is a recipe for getting a cut. Workers should never touch knife blades with any unprotected parts of their bodies.
  • Only use the appropriate knife for the appropriate job. Don't try to use a knife as a screwdriver or to pry something open. Furthermore, use the right-sized and type of knife for the job at hand.
  • If you get interrupted, put the knife down. Don't carry on a conversation or get distracted by other things while holding a knife in your hand.
  • Don't put a knife in a sink of water to soak unattended. Another worker could get cut because he or she didn't realize the knife was there.
  • Don't put a knife on the edge of a table or counter. Keep knives far away from where they could fall off a countertop or other surface. Also, if the knife does fall, don't attempt to catch it. Just let it fall and step as far away from the knife as possible.
  • Use care when handing someone a knife. Put the knife down on a clean surface and allow the other person to pick it back up safely.

These are just some of the best tips and tricks to prevent knife injuries. Be sure to read up on knife safety to prevent injuries. However, if you do get hurt, you might want to learn about your workers' compensation insurance coverage, which could help to pay for your medical care.

Source: Insurance Safety and Hygiene News, "Knife safety: 30 handling tips to avoid cuts," accessed Jan. 30, 2018

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