Workplace Safety and the Evolution of the Box Cutter In what seems like a previous life, I used to work in the back of a grocery store unpacking pallets and stocking shelves for minimum wage. A lot of things were prehistoric in those days, including our safety policies (or lack thereof) and our box cutters, similar to the yellow one in the image. This was before my first ergonomics or safety course, so I had no clue that there could be a better way.

enter Flash forward to 2014 and here is a recent article from Industrial Safety and Hygiene News. The author lists what his company considers the state of the art of box cutter design, similar to the one pictured in green. He highlights several safety features, including blade controls (recessed and vanishing blades), protective features (tape splitters, thumb guards, blade hoods), adjustability (blade depth controls) and convenient carrying devices so you don’t shove the blade into your pocket (ouch!!) such as holsters and lanyard. Notice that none of these require electronics. None of them post to your news feed or spam your friends. They don’t collect personal information and make recommendations. Just some simple changes that keep the worker safe and increase productivity enough to pay for themselves in no time (at least according to the company that sells them).

What other simple safety improvements have you seen on your most basic tools?

Image credit: “Safety cutter and simple box cutter blades extended” by Junkyardsparkle used under CC0 1.0

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