We recently reviewed our safety processes to minimize installer injury and lost time due to injuries. Flooring installers utilize knives to cut the materials they are installing. The blades are razor sharp and can easily cut the worker. Knife safety is therefore of paramount importance to both the worker and the employer alike.
Ironically, an important part of knife safety is to make sure that the worker uses blades that are sharp. Using a dull blade can be very dangerous. A dull blade cannot enter that material the same way as a sharp blade can, and this is one of the causes of accidental knife slippage.
Another key to avoiding injuries is to use a holster for the knife. Laying down a knife onto the work surface can be a hazard. Putting a knife into a holster instead of laying the knife down on the work surface can prevent the accidental cutting of a hand or finger.
There are knives available that can retract after each cut. One manufacturer that makes a fine knife with this feature is from Martorusa. http://www.martorusa.com/Information/Smart-Knives
These retractable knifes are of excellent quality. The only draw back we found with that knife is that it doesn’t come with carpet blades. They offer two blades right now – a utility blade and a hook blade.
Finally, the use of Kevlar cut resistant gloves is one step towards minimizing or preventing accidental knife cuts. We highly recommend the use of gloves.