Safety is a high priority in carton sealing operations, and recently, some manufacturers have taken additional steps to combat workplace injury with new regulations and requirements for their suppliers.
We’ve been hearing more and more in the market that manufacturers are challenging their suppliers to ship products to them in cartons that can be opened without the use of a knife or sharp object. Taking the knife out of the supply chain reduces the risk of worker injury attributed to knife cuts – improving efficiency and the bottom line.
As positive as safety initiatives are, requiring all suppliers to change from the traditional method of carton sealing – standard packaging tape applied automatically or manually – might seem a little extreme if you aren’t aware of the facts.
According to the National Safety Council, manufacturing is among the top 5 industries with the highest number of preventable workplace injuries per year. Knife cuts account for approximately 30% of overall workplace injuries, and of those, 70% are lacerations to hands and fingers. Even seemingly minor cuts can cost employers upwards of $40,000* when lost labor and worker’s compensation are taken into account. There are also the personal costs to employees who are hurt on the job, especially when the injury causes them to miss work.
So how can suppliers meet the requirements of customers that have adopted the no-knife requirement?
Eliminating the knife doesn’t have to mean eliminating the tape. Some examples of permissible options given by these manufacturers include pull tape, strippable tape, or tape with some kind of tear or tab feature in the design that allows access without the use of a knife. In order for these designs to work properly, the tape must also have sufficient tensile strength to prevent shredding or tearing as it is stripped off the container.
As an additional alternative to traditional packaging tape application, some tape manufacturers have developed tape application technology for automated and manual packaging applications that folds the edges of the tape along the length of the carton as it is applied. This creates a dry edge that allows workers to grasp the edge of the tape and remove it easily by hand, without compromising seal security. The reinforced tape edge also provides an extra strong seal by increasing the strength of the tape, preventing it from shredding when removed.
At the end of the day, worker injury and product damage lead to major cost setbacks for manufacturers, and eliminating the knife from the equation significantly reduces this risk.
Considering going knifeless in your facility? Learn about ShurSEAL Packaging Solutions with Folded-Edge® Technology at ShurSEALSecure.com.