Utility Knife & Box Cutter Safety

Utility Knife & Box Cutter Safety

We all think using a utility knife & box cutter Safety is common sense, and we are all guilty at times, of not doing it properly.

Whether it be at work, in your garage or in your kitchen; we have all started to cut something, and then…. your hand slips.  If you missed it, you probably breathed a sigh of relief.  We all find ourselves at one time or another rushing, and not paying attention to the proper ways of using a knife.

How Do Most Utility Knife & Box Cutter Safety Injuries Occur?

  • Using a dull blade, causing the need for greater effort to cut through the material
  • Leaving the retractable blade in the “open” position
  • Cutting through extremely tough material, the blade slips and slices against your body
  • Using a broken knife or blade increasing the chances of slipping
  • Cutting toward the body
  • Closing the knife improperly
  • Trying to catch a knife that has been dropped


Watch this video to learn the proper way to use a utility knife or box cutter

Follow these 8 Tips to Prevent Utility Knife/Box Cutter Injuries

  1. PROPER POSITION. Position the carton so it’s a safe distance from your abdomen, hips and thighs. Then draw the knife away from your body. Always maintain a safe distance from co-workers and customers as you cut.
  2. SHARP IS SAFE. A dull blade requires additional pressure to make the cut or may tear the cardboard. Stop and change the blade when needed. A dull blade cuts erratically and can easily slip off the cutting path, increasing chances for injury.
  3. VISUAL GUIDANCE. Never use your thumb as a guide to position the blade. Instead, plan your cut visually and grasp the knife with your entire hand.
  4. CUT AWAY FOR HANDS. Hold the carton with your hand on the opposite side you’re cutting. Keep your hands and fingers away from the cutting area at all times.
  5. PROPER EXCHANGE. Never toss or hand a knife to co-worker. Set it down and let the co-worker pick it up.
  6. BLADE DISPOSAL. Discard used blades in a safe blade storage receptacle. Never toss in the garbage where they might injure an unsuspecting person.
  7. SAFETY DROPS. If you drop a knife, don’t try to catch it. Let it fall to the floor. Then examine the blade and mechanism for possible damage before using it again.
  8. STRETCH FILM DIRECTION. Pull stretch film away from the pallet contents before starting the cut. Start cutting the film from the top of the pallet. Never slice stretch film from the bottom up.


These are just a few safety tips to follow when using a box cutter. Above all else, like all cutting instruments, however, caution is needed when using a box cutter to prevent injury. Click here for additional safe warehouse cutting techniques approved by OLFA.


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