The Knife Safety Program is a reflection of Western's commitment to health and safety. Hospitality Services staff handle knives on a daily basis to prepare and serve food to students, staff and faculty in the residence and campus eateries. This program has been developed to provide additional support to Hospitality Services employees on the safe handling and use of knives in the kitchen work environments at Western University.
Knife selection is an important part of ensuring that you have the right tool for the job. Improper knife use or selection, can lead to injury. Various knives are used in the kitchens including the French knife, serrated knife, paring knife, and slicer.
Knives are to be inspected prior to each use to ensure the blade and handle are in good working order and there are no noticeable defects or missing pieces. A dull knife is the leading contributor to cut related accidents. Using a dull knife should be avoided at all times.
All cutting boards at Western have grips to ensure they are stable when cutting. Cutting tasks are not to be done on wheeled carts or unstable surfaces.
Safe Knife Handling
Staff are provided with a cut resistant glove to wear on their non-cutting hand, with a disposable glove overtop to keep the glove clean. This glove is used during cutting tasks to protect the hand from accidental cuts.
Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)
Practising good work habits is important to prevent the risk of MSDs. Using the proper technique when holding and using the knife, taking micro-breaks during long cutting tasks as well as performing stretching exercises can help reduce the risk of developing MSDs.
Knife Maintenance and Storage
- Knives are sharpened and replaced regularly by a professional service. Kitchens are also supplied with electric knife sharpeners that can be used by trained individuals.
- Knife boxes are located in Western kitchens for the safe storage of knives.
- Knives are cleaned and sanitized using a scrub brush provided. Both blade and handle are cleaned after each use.
- Safety posters are located around the kitchens identifying safe practises when handling and using knives.
First Aid kits are located in all kitchen locations on campus, and are easily accessible to ensure care is provided right away if an accident occurs. Training is available to staff to meet First Aid Regulations under the Workplace Safety Insurance Board Act.
Knife Safety training can be found on the Required Training webpage.
- Knife Safety Tips (pdf)
- Knife Safety - September Start-up Checklist for Unit Managers (pdf)
- Waring Knife Sharpener Instruction Booklet (Waring website)
- Knife Sharpener Training Checklist (pdf)
Published on and maintained in Cascade CMS.