‘Knifeless’ program reduces risk of cuts and lacerations to workers
At the Cascades Norampac plant in Vaughan, Ontario, which employs 265 employees to manufacture corrugated packaging and storage solutions, a task-based assessment was completed in each department to evaluate how knives, alternative cutting tools and sharps were being used.
Tools such as straight and retractable knives, snips, and scissors are used to strip and prep rolls, cut metal and plastic straps, trim print plates, cut stretch wrap and cords, as well as to perform other maintenance activities.
Once all tasks were reviewed, the type of tool used to complete the task was evaluated to see if there was a safer tool to use. All tools were selected with the help of the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) with the assistance of the employees performing the jobs.
The purpose of Cascades knifeless policy is to mitigate risks associated with lacerations and cuts from use of knives, alternative cutting tools and handling of sharp objects. This program is fully supported by the local management team in conjunction with the JHSC.
The program also reduces the occurrence of foreign matter contamination in the product by controlling what type of knife is used, how the knife is used, and who is trained and qualified. Through ongoing audits of the program, the integrity is maintained and continuously improved.
The JHSC completes an annual audit on the Knifeless Policy and Program. Also, if an employee identifies a task that was not identified during the initial assessment, or if new equipment or machines are introduced, the JHSC work to find a suitable tool for the completion of the task.