Safety checks when cutting bundle strapping

Manufacturers commonly ship merchandise on pallets or in bundles and secure the loads with strapping or shrink and stretch film. Depending on the weight of the goods on the pallet, the shipper may use polypropylene, polyester, nylon or composite fiberglass reinforced strapping. 
The OLFA self-retracting safety knife SK-4 and the OLFA concealed blade safety knife SK-10 can be used with all other types of strapping materials, as well as shrink or stretch film, string foil, packaging tape, coated films, foil paper, and woven or yarn cord. However, you must conduct safety checks prior to cutting. Here’s what to look for:

Check pallet contents for shifting
Some plastic strapping materials stretch after placement or when exposed to sunlight. Stretching allows palletized and bundled boxes and goods to shift in transit. If the shifted load isn’t rearranged first, the goods can fall as soon as the strapping or shrink or stretch film is cut. That can cause injuries, damage to goods and hazardous spills. So it’s important to check the load before cutting any strapping or film. 

Check the type of strapping
Polypropylene strapping materials are commonly used to close individual cartons and to secure lightweight pallets and bundles of lightweight goods. Can be cut easily with an OLFA self-retracting safety knife SK-4 or the OLFA concealed blade safety knife SK-10. 
Reinforced paper, string, corded and woven materials. Cut with a concealed blade safety cutter using the holding and cutting technique described above.
Strong strapping materials like polyester, woven webbing or composite fiberglass reinforced strapping materials. These strapping materials are harder to cut and dull a safety strap cutter blade quickly. If so, keep a supply of new blades handy and change the blade’s cutting surface at the first sign of increased effort.

Tip for cutting shrink or stretch film 
Once you confirm the load or bundle is stable, use an OLFA SK-10 knife to slice through the shrink or stretch film.
•    Starting at the top of the load, poke through the shrink or stretch film with the pointed end of the gooseneck.
•    Slice down to the middle of the pallet.
•    Then cut horizontally to remove the top half of the shrink or stretch film or wrapping.
•    Leave the bottom portion of the wrap in place until you’ve removed the goods above that level. Then repeat the process to cut through the remaining film or wrap.