A large west coast grocery chain was experiencing significant sales success and growing rapidly. Their proven formula was simple: offer a wide variety of products, fresh produce, premium quality meats and seafood, a full-line, high-end bakery, competitive pricing and provide industry leading customer service. They were known for their clean, modern, and well stocked presentation, and they appeared to be an exemplary model of efficiency in the industry.

 

Despite their successes, they were experiencing extremely high costs related to rising Worker’s Compensation rates. These costs were offsetting a significant amount of their profits.

 

In an interview with the Safety Director, he shared, “Lacerations were one of our biggest problems.  Many of these cuts were to the arms or legs and those that went reported ranged from as little as $200 all the way up to $55,000 in medical bills. Some required only a few stitches and others needed vein or tendon surgery, and these are the ones that really blow up your numbers!” He also pointed out that it wasn’t uncommon to receive lawsuits resulting from these incidents. It also affected productivity, as employees experienced lost workdays and morale was affected when painful injuries occurred. He added, “It was like a black hole, and top management had just been regarding these expenses as the cost of doing business.”      

 

Like this west coast grocer, most retailers open thousands of boxes daily. The tool used to open these boxes is often overlooked as a low priority supply item. The Safety Director started looking for solutions and found there were very few viable options for safely opening large quantities of boxes. Only one safety products company appeared to have the right tools for the job - Pacific Handy Cutter.

 

The Safety Director mentioned, “While I was looking for knives and reviewing all the different models from various vendors, PHC showed me the S5 Safety Cutter. I really liked the comfortable feel and all the safety features.  When we tested the cutter in our stores, we found that the cutting guard, along with the tape splitter, allowed us to open boxes without any reported employee injuries. This was huge! In fact, after the first year of implementation, it reduced our box cutting lacerations by 95%.”   

 

Because of the tangible results, they were able to gain the entire company’s commitment in establishing a culture of safety.  “We saved $46 million dollars annually by reducing our WC costs due to the positive changes we made in safety and by reducing our cuts from over a thousand to almost zero, which was a significant factor impacting our rates.” Employees began to realize that working safely was now a priority because the company was investing in their well-being.

 

The grocery chain found other unanticipated benefits that also amounted to millions of dollars in savings. The Safety Director was pleased to hear that, “Operations liked the S5 because they found it didn’t cut into product, and our shrink numbers from damage started dropping dramatically. They reported that they were also able to open boxes faster.” By all accounts, this was a tremendous success, companywide.

 

Ultimately, using the right safety cutter makes all the difference. With the right PHC cutter, a company can open boxes, cut shrink wrap, plastic straps, zip ties, and more, without needing protective gloves or worrying about costly lacerations. Retailers often find that the greatest benefits are realized in lowered damage merchandise and increased productivity. Since damaged product can amount to sales losses in the millions for many chains, utilizing the right safety cutter can save a tremendous amount and greatly affect profitability.


Pacific Handy Cutter has the right cutters for the needs of modern businesses. With over 65 years of experience innovating and a track record of saving thousands of companies millions of dollars, they have established themselves as the market leader in safety cutting. It’s no wonder 27 of the Top 30 grocery chains currently use PHC safety cutters in their stores.