Lightweight, easy to use and carry, the Stanley knife is a multi-purpose cutting tool that is routinely used as a utility knife in construction and DIY projects, factories and warehouses everywhere.
Unfortunately, it is also responsible for a great deal of workplace injuries.
Stanley knife dangers
Careless or inappropriate use or storage of a Stanley knife can all too easily result in injuries by cutting yourself or others. As the blades of Stanley knives are extremely sharp, such cutting injuries can be deep and could potentially sever major blood vessels.
The sharpness of these blades could also result in work injuries not being felt or noticed immediately. This is particularly likely when fingers and hands are also numbed by cold, which could, of course, heighten the risk of subsequent infection.
Other Stanley knife risks
Dull blades, on the other hand, could make cutting extremely difficult, resulting in injuries at work as a result of the knife slipping or suddenly jerking into the wrong direction. Old and poorly-maintained utility knives may suddenly come apart, causing injury by fingers slipping into blades or blades being forced out of the casing.
Preventing Stanley knife injuries
Accidents at work involving Stanley knives can be prevented by always:
- Using adequately-sized, stable cutting boards or mats
- Ensuring the material you are about to cut is secured firmly in place
- Using safety rulers, as opposed to flat steel rulers
- Keeping knives in good condition, with a strong handle and sharp blades
- Avoiding ‘follow-through’ injuries by keeping both hands behind the blade
- Concentrating on the task while remaining aware of others likely to distract or bump into you within your immediate working area
- Retracting blades after use
Utility knife injuries can be further prevented by never:
- Cutting towards your hands/body
- Pressing down too hard while cutting
- Leaving open knives unattended or in places where others may not expect them, on desks, chairs or floors
- Carelessly waving open knives about
- Placing open knives into tool boxes, bags or pockets
Naturally, it is equally important to be careful and follow correct procedures when changing and discarding old blades.
In case of mishaps
If you do have a utility knife accident, report the incident and have the cut seen to by medical personnel as soon as possible. Should someone else have caused your work injury, you could also be eligible to claim for compensation.
Get useful advice and secure the help of an experienced Accident Advice Helpline solicitor by giving us a call on 0800 689 5659.