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Safe use of knives in the kitchen

This page contains information and guidance to help you take steps to prevent knife accidents.

What you must do

You must ensure that your employees are kept safe from harm so far as is reasonably practicable. This means that the risk from using knives must be controlled to ensure people do not suffer cuts.  You must assess the risk of your employees being cut by knives and take reasonable precautions. 

What are the risks?

Ways to minimise the risk

Do

Don't

Find out more

Case study: What can go wrong?

While trying to open a 25 kilo bag of potatoes, the commis chef sliced the corner of the bag using a 12-inch fish filleting knife. With the knife still in his right hand pointing upwards, he then attempted to move the bag. The cut section of bag gave way causing the knife to be thrust upwards into his face, causing a severe laceration.

This is an actual reported accident that shows what can happen when trying to carry a bag whilst still holding a knife. A change in working practices would have avoided this accident, for example using a safety knife.

Some industry examples of good practice in the safe use of knives

Part of the work of the Hospitality Industry Liaison Forum is in sharing good practice. Here are some industry examples of good practice in safe use of knives (reproduced with permission) that members are happy to share.

Updated 2014-08-20