Posted at 27 October 2020

Why now is not the time for cuts

Paul Skade
By Paul Skade
Category Manager, Industrial MRO and Safety

I’ve been in the Tools and MRO industry since leaving school 45 years ago. I’ve enjoyed a wide and varied career in a variety of Sales and Procurement roles in th...

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Even in difficult times for industry, there are some cuts you should always avoid. The kind of cuts that can reduce efficiency. That can cost you more than £500 each. And that can put your employees at risk of serious injury, and you at risk of prosecution. The kind of cuts that Martor Knives are specifically designed to protect against.


It might be used for cutting pallet wrapping, opening cardboard boxes, unpacking products or any one of a hundred cutting needs in factories and warehouses. But whatever it’s used for, and whoever is using it, a knife is never just a knife. It’s a potentially dangerous tool.

Like any potentially dangerous tool, it needs to be designed for the task at hand. The user should be trained in its safe and effective operation. And your aim should always be to cut risks, not efficiency.


‘But I’ve never had a knife injury in twenty years,’ is a common response from knife users. Then they’ve been exceptionally lucky.

Amongst 100 knife users, evidence shows there will almost certainly be at least one accident a year, ranging from minor to serious. A quick glance at most business’s injury logbook will likely reveal a higher number of incidents than they might have realised.

And while it’s the employee who risks injury, it’s the employer who risks prosecution for failing in their Duty of Care. So it helps if you understand the risks and costs, and how to avoid them.

Adding invoice to injury

Even the slightest knife injury accident has a cost. A major injury has a major cost. Yet because most of these hidden costs don’t come with an invoice, they’re often overlooked.

The Health & Safety Manager of a major UK scaffolding business, for example, estimates that every injury incident – however small – costs the business £500. That’s the hidden cost of investigating and reporting the incident, taking corrective action, reporting to the Board, and Management time involved. And that’s before taking into account lost production or reduced productivity through downtime or employee injury.

A major injury will lead to far greater costs – perhaps including compensation after legal action.

So the best protection – for employee and employer – is to know the risks, and take action in advance to avoid them.

Don’t take risks. Assess them

MARTOR have been manufacturing industrial safety knives for decades. That gives them a unique insight into how knives are used and misused.


A MARTOR Knife Risk Assessment is as useful a tool as a knife itself – not only considering risks to employees, but also risks to your profitability, including:

  • where and how knives are used in your processes
  • alternative methods / change of process to reduce risk, optimise productivity and reduce costs
  • the safest, most efficient knife options for each task.

Following a MARTOR assessment, one business saved £500,000 a year through reduced product wastage – garments were being slashed by exposed blades when opening boxes from the Far East. MARTOR identified the cause of the product damage and, by recommending a different type of knife, eliminated it.

Life with a knife

The right knife for the job can make a huge difference to safety and productivity – but only if it’s used correctly. So from on-site training and safety days, to training videos on YouTube, MARTOR help to ensure knives are used safely and effectively.


Simply thrown in a normal waste bin, a blade can even cut when it’s blunt. So MARTOR also offer special blade bins, to ensure used knives or blades are safely disposed of.

With Knife Risk Assessments, a range of knife options, and knife disposal solutions, a MARTOR knife can deliver the most efficient, productive and – above all – safe tool, that’s a cut above the rest.

Safe on all levels

The MARTOR range of industrial knives offers 3 levels of safety.


A recessed or concealed blade shields against cut injuries and damage to goods.


The fully-automatic blade retracts as soon as it leaves the material being cut.


Once the user releases the slider, the blade retracts as soon as it leaves the material being cut.

To find out more about a Martor Knife Risk Assessment, please don't hesitate to contact your local ERIKS Service Centre on 0121 508 6000 or CLICK HERE to request your independent survey today.

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