Fresh bread sliced on a chopping board

Cutting utensil safety at your business

22 April 2021

Knives are used every day in the food industry, but you or a member of your team could be at risk of cuts in most of the tasks that you perform with them, from preparing food to clearing tables and washing dishes.

Reduce the risk of injury when using knives at work by taking a look at some of these precautions.

Learning how to safely handle knives is the best form of preventing cuts. Here are some of our knife safety top tips.

Knife storage

Knives and other sharp utensils should be stored safely, in a way that they can be accessed without the risk of anyone being exposed to the blade. Consider a knife block that keeps the blade sheathed.

When you have finished with a knife, never put it into a sink. Someone coming over to wash pots may not know it’s in there and grab it by accident. Keep a container near the sink and label it with a “knives only” sign.

Keep your knives sharp and in good condition. A dull knife requires more pressure on the object you’re trying to cut, so presents a higher risk of slipping and causing injury.

Using a knife for cooking

Your only real use for a knife will be for cutting food, so let’s take a look at how to use your knives safely:

  • Handling and usage of knives should only be carried out by people who are trained, or being trained, to use them correctly.
  • When cutting food, slice away from the body. Keep fingers out of the path of the knife.
  • Consider wearing steel mesh gloves to keep the hands safe from the blade.
  • Different knives have different purposes, such as boning knives, bread knives or steak knives. Make sure you are using the knife for its intended purpose.
  • Take it slow when using a knife. It might be efficient and look cool to use a knife quickly, but you will be at a higher risk of injury if you are rushing.

Knife safety when you’re not using it

You don’t have to be using a knife for it to pose a danger to yourself and others around you. These are some of our tips if you are holding a knife but not using it for food, or if your colleague is using a knife.

  • Carry your knife with the sharp edge pointing away from your body and the tip pointing to the floor.
  • If a knife falls to the floor, move to avoid it. Never try to catch it.
  • When giving a knife to a co-worker, place it on a surface for them to pick up rather than handing it to them.
  • Avoid placing a knife close to the edge of a counter. This will reduce the risk of it being knocked off.
  • Don’t talk to or distract a colleague who is using a knife. They could hurt themselves if they aren’t concentrating on their cutting technique.
Source: Zywave Inc - Restaurant Playing It Safe: Avoid Cutting Hazards In The Kitchen
Injuries from slicing bagels have their own medical term, BRI (bagel related injury) because they are  such a common injury.

The food and hospitality industry is one of the biggest in the UK, and as such, has a huge amount of variety in the businesses that operate in the sector. This variety means that no two businesses are the same, and will each have unique insurance needs.

At Premierline, we understand the need for a bespoke insurance policy, our insurance advisors will assess your business and source business insurance quotes from some of the UK’s most well-known insurance providers to find you a cover that is right for your business.

It is important to make sure that you have the right insurance in place to protect the business that you have built. Every business is different and has its own business insurance needs, which is why we work with some of the UK’s most well-known insurers to ensure that you are getting the right insurance cover for your business.
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