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#73988 - 01/09/07 08:24 AM Sharp Knife permit??
Bill39 Offline

Registered: 11/28/01
Posts: 77
Loc: Indianapolis, IN, USA
We all are safety concious but isn't this taking it a little too far? Read below:

The major pharmaceutical plant we are doing some work at is very safety concious.

Today I had some electricians make up some shielded cables for communications and they were having trouble neatly trimming the foil shield with their dykes. I suggested that using a knife for this would work well but was told they did not have a "Sharp Knife" permit. They assured me this was not a joke and I had heard talk of this at another time.

They said the customer's rational for this is that there should be a "proper" tool to do the job and a knife should rarely be needed.

I said that a knife is the proper tool in this case and used mine to trim the shield.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades
Arc Flash Clothing, Gloves, KneePads, Tool Belts, Pouches, Tool Carriers, etc. etc....

#73989 - 01/09/07 09:58 AM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Alas, you are the victim of "seminar education.'

Management types are going to seminars, the main purpose of which seems to be to reduce insurance premiums. These seminars teach a number of absurd, extreme things, all in the name of "safety."

That these positions are indefensible, contradicted by "safety engineering," or that not a single person invloved in running these seminars has even a single credit-hour in safety engineering are all irrellevant points. Management is the ultimate authority, and "safety" is but their favorite method of showing who's boss.

Getting back on point, in such places shipping clerks, and others who absolutely must cut things, will invariably be required to use a spring-loaded (automatic return) boxcutter, with blades that have had their points removed. Management has taken it, as a matter of faith, that there is NO legitimate use for a knife

Now, the situation need not be so; even where the 'real' reason is some misfit 'going postal,' the complete ban on knives is futile, and foolish.

I have recently completed a job in a medium security prison. As you might guess, there was a vary strict ban on knives (or anything else that could be used as a weapon). And, as listeners to the G. Gordon Liddy show will attest, prison guards are not known for being particularly smart.

Nevertheless, the prison had absolutely no problem with my using knives, pry bars, hammers, and lots of other things that would ordinarily be forbidden. They were able to recognise that I was a professional, that I had a job to do, and that 'the rulebook' had to conform to the real world.

I submit that some folks try to impose a manner of "freedom" that is far more restrictive than prison; but that is another discussion!

#73990 - 01/09/07 11:06 AM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
PEdoubleNIZZLE Offline

Registered: 06/16/04
Posts: 176
Loc: McKeesport, PA, USA
You know, I've hurt myself more on those cheap dull flimsy spring-loaded "safety knives" than just a regular utility knife. The main problem with them is that people try to use them as a pointed knife, and I an guilty of this.

#73991 - 01/09/07 03:44 PM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
IanR Offline

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 326
Loc: Palm Bay FL USA
Yeah they say the same thing where I work.
You know, you can keep your safety blade, I'll just stick to my trusty old Gerber lock back.

#73992 - 01/09/07 03:44 PM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
iwire Offline

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
The most common trip to the hospital for us (and I bet most electricians) are lacerations to the hands,

Now we can complain that the bean counters have gone to far but take a minute to look at from their perspective.

Workers keep costing the company money due to cuts, lost time, workers comps payments etc.

In a large company this is a real issue, it cuts into the profits.

The bean counters job is to save this money, they are as proud of the job they do as we are of ours. So it is obvious the issue has to be addressed with some sort of restrictions.

I have never run into a 'knife permit' yet but the company I work for issues gloves and expects us to where them for many tasks.

Personally I hate the gloves but I can understand why them want me to where them.
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#73993 - 01/09/07 04:07 PM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
ShockMe77 Offline

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Rahway, New Jersey
I cut my hands less now than I did 5 years ago because I use a designed stripper (from Ideal) for shielded cable like RG6. Not sure if that's the kind of cable Bill is referring to, but I don't cut my hands much any more stripping cable televison wire. In fact, I just bought the stripper designed for Cat3, 5, 5E, and 6 just 30 minutes ago!

#73994 - 01/09/07 04:28 PM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
e57 Offline

Registered: 05/27/03
Posts: 2837
Loc: S.F.,CA USA
Knife to cut foil shield - I don't see that as the proper tool at all. Or for stripping either. Not sure of what cable you're dealing with but RG and CAT type cables have purpose built strippers that cut the foil as well - and if all else fails dykes would be a far superior tool than a knife for the purpose.... Just due to risk of damaging conductors if not ones self.

I'll now say that my utility knife is dull as dirt, and I like it that way! I strip NM, and larger THHN with it all the time - sheet rock too. (If I absolutely have to change the blade I run it through some sheet rock to get it to its proper dullness....) As it only needs to be sharp enough to score insulation, slightly sharper than a butter knife will due. I also have a (dull tipped/barley sharp in back) birds bill knife that I use too. Neither will cut skin with any ease, and have not cut myself with them in any recent memory.

That said I mash my fingers and slash myself more on light fixtures, or pulling wire, or pinch a blood blister with my linemans more than anything else. As the saying goes, it not 'work' unless you have to tape up a finger or two. It's part of the job.... Yesturday, I forgot to let the grinder disk stop spinning and let my pinky get in the way. A little corner of a napkin and some Super 35 - finish drinking the coffee and back to work.... (FYI Super 35 doesnt leave a residue as much as Termiflex does.)
Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#73995 - 01/09/07 04:35 PM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
Lostazhell Offline

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 1248
Loc: Bakersfield, CA (Originally Or...
Nothing cuts fingers like a Lithonia trougher fixture.... or the box it comes in!

#73996 - 01/09/07 04:59 PM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
Luketrician Offline

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 273
Loc: Sale Creek, TN USA
Nothing cuts fingers like a Lithonia trougher fixture.... or the box it comes in!

Preach on brother! Speaking of knife restirictions, here at Seqouyah. The knife ban has been in place for two years know. We electricians, have been 'told' that the only tool (as far as knifes are concerned) we are allowed to use are these 'self retracting' utility knifes. Looks similar to the average utility knife, but the second you ease up in the cutting pressure, the blade automaticaly retracts back into the housing. A real PITA.

I still carry my old klien hawk-bill. I just have to be carefull when & where I use it, make sure there isn't any bigwigs around, but that's usually never a problem. I hardly ever run into the big bosses when I am up in the ceiling in cabletrays, or in giant relay cabinets etc.
Luke Clarke
Electrical Planner for TVA.

#73997 - 01/09/07 05:08 PM Re: Sharp Knife permit??
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Maybe you can just carry a part of a Lithonia fixture with you, if knives aren't permitted

[This message has been edited by renosteinke (edited 01-09-2007).]

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