According to a 2013 study over 60,000 people are injured by opening packaging each year and not using safety cutters.
In the workplace, according to the National Safety Council (US), knife cuts account for about 1/3 of overall workplace injuries. A further two-thirds of those are lacerations to hands and fingers.
Packaging designers are now making the first steps to address these problems with packaging inaccessibility. In the meantime, we can take simple measures to avoid and minimise the frustration that packaging can cause.
Follow our tips on how to open packaging in the safest way:
Do not use a blunt blade
If a blade has lost its sharpness it is less likely to cut in a straight line. It is therefore more likely to veer off the packaging and into any other nearby surface, causing injury.
Do not use too much force
This risk is also heightened because a blunt blade requires greater pressure to cut. When the blade slips it will do so with greater speed and momentum, increasing the severity of damage or injury.
Do not use the wrong tool for the job
It can be frustrating trying to find the correct tool to open packages:
- when the blade is blunt, there is the risk of further injury
- If the blade is not strong enough, there is the risk of breaking it
- If it is too sharp, there is again a risk of injury and damage to the packaging contents
Maintain the condition of your blade
Do not wait until your knife is blunt before you replace it or change the blade. Do not put off changing blades because you are busy or because of the cost. Waiting in A&E takes a lot more of your time and blades are not that expensive.
Use the right cutter
A wide range of knives and box cutters are now designed for specific tasks, each reducing the risk of damage and injury. Some – such as multi-function safety cutters including CX3 and FSC– can perform a variety of tasks such as slitting stretch wrap film, plastic strapping, and thin card, and perforating a tape seam on a carton flap join without damaging the contents.
Safety cutters with an automatically retracting blade are also a good choice, because as soon as you let go of the knife the blade disappears inside the knife.
If the wings are set at ninety degrees to the blade of a safety cutter, they can be placed against the packaging before the blade emerges and will keep the blade perpendicular to the surface. This ensures the blade cuts in a straight line. We offer ACK-G, carton corner slitter, as an ideal product for safe guidance.
Keep the cutter near at hand
It is easy to misplace safety cutters, however, the use of bright designs and eyelets are making this a less common trait. The majority of the cutters available at Southgate have eyelets and with our selection of Lanyards such as MLY, your cutter will never be far from hand.
A knife with a automatically retracting blade offers optimum saftey. Cutters such as KNR and KNL both retract when contact with a cutting surface is lost and also comes in right handed (KNR) and left handed styles(KNL).
To learn more about cutters and other ancillary products visit our Taping and Ancillary category.
Southgate supply a wide range of safety cutters through their network of approved suppliers, throughout the UK and across Europe. For more information call 01553 69 29 69 or email email@example.com.