A Knife?

We received a really nice sample of an engraved 7-Function Pocket Knife, and are considering giving it as a safety incentive prize or holiday gift. Would like to hear your thoughts (legal issues, etc.) on giving employees knives. (The times we live in!)


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  • Gosh, I'd be very reluctant to do that. Whether you have a zero tolerance policy on workplace violence or not, I believe most folks would view a pocket knife (even if it has 7 functions!) as a weapon. Seems to me that any item given as a gift or prize that we would ordinarily prohibit bringing to work shouldn't have the company logo on it!
  • I think it depends on the industry you are in. If you have people working in the field that could use it for work then it might be appropriate. However is a borderline item.
    My $0.02 worth.
    DJ The Balloonman
  • Depending on the type of work, I'd be very careful. Our maintenance crew tyically carry pocket knives because of the nature of their job. There are other ee's that I would not trust with a knife. Discretion.
  • For a holiday gift my former company gave out a carving set that included 8 steak knives. I was shocked! Things went along fine until the end of the shift when employees were dueling with the carving knife in the parking lot. In hindsight, not the smartest idea.
  • There are so many other things available. I get incentive catalogues almost daily. Most of it is garbage. However, hats, mugs, (dare I say it) t-shirts etc are available.
  • I'm going to go against the grain on this one. One heavy marine construction outfit I worked at gave out excellent-quality folding hunting knives (6-inch blade) as safety incentives and they were so popular that crews would call me continually to find out how close they were to having the requisite number of safe hours to qualify for the knife. The blades were embossed with the company logo and the words, "Awarded for Safety Achievement." Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it.
  • I'm with Parabeagle. We are sometimes so scared of what might happen, we suck the life out of any program. We offered knives as a service award choice and it was by far the most popular gift we gave. If the people at your company would respond to that, then do it. If you have a no weapons policy, when you award the knives, tell the employees to take them home as they cannot remain on the premises due to violating the weapons policy. They will understand the need to enforce the policy.

    Margaret Morford
  • I can't help cracking up about your post - we did the exact same thing with a leatherman knife - also for a safety bonus.

    The amount of joking around that happened when we gave it out is something I'll never forget - we all could not stop laughing. Everyone wanted one though...

    It's really going to depend on your company and size. Even though we've done it before, we won't do it again.
  • I got the very same thing - sample "mini swiss army" type of thing. Thought it might come in useful - put it in my purse & promptly forgot about it until I went through security at the airport........ #-o
  • Knives are a choice on our service award program, and if chosen they come here to be handed over personally by employee supervisor. Been about five years, never had a problem.
  • I'm going to approach this from a completely different aspect and say that perhaps your decision should be based on how this gesture will be perceived at the top, and I think that all depends on where your CEO stands on the gun control issue. If the CEO buys the argument that an inanimate tool is somehow "evil"....that simply holding the tool in your hand will lead to inappropriate behavior...then it might not be viewed as a good idea.
  • I would recommend against it. Personal experience: One of my HR counterparts had been tasked to come up with an annual safety award. Being an outdoorsy kind of guy, and our plant being on an Indian reservation, a 10 inch hunting knife with beautiful dear-antler handle and leather scabbard was his selection. It was a beautiful gift. I had just been involved in terminating an employee who had a hot temper and had threatened co-workers. I cautioned my co-worker to make sure he received the knife in the parking lot if he came asking for it (he had earned it before the termination). Imagine my surprise - shock - you name it - when I stepped out of my office to see the former employee gleefully examing the glint of light from the new blade. Oh, and our safety manager nearly fainted when he learned employees were walking through the plant with their new "treasures."
  • Give the knife! Man, what has this world come to?!
  • [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 08-12-03 AT 02:08PM (CST)[/font][p]our worker's comp company gave out pocket knives at their safety seminar that I went to last year. if they can do it, anyone can. x;-)
  • Several crews of laborers got fancy knifes from on high for handling a major break. .it was a nice gesture and fit with the culture. I was very grateful that the 2 (that I am aware of) serious cuts that occured were off duty hence not compensable under WC.
  • I've given out tons of small Swiss-Pocket knives with company logos on them. But I would draw the line at a antler-handled 10-inch bladed hunting knife. What about a small billy-club for under the car/truck seat?
  • Thanks everyone for these interesting and varied responses. You all couldn't settle for a yes or no, huh? Now I really am not sure what to do. LOL
  • Simple. Be just as decisive and firm as we all are and definitely decide to give out coffee mugs! x:-)
  • Parabeagle is right on the money...

    I firmly decided to give out sweatshirts! x:D
  • Why not manila file folders? Just make sure the edges are dull so you don't risk anyone getting a paper cut. There's a WC claim waiting to happen.
  • A personal first aid kit, perhaps? Stock it with fancy-shmancy Scooby-Doo bandaids? Neon First Aid tape? (to make it fun) I've seen bubble gum in band-aid type packages too. Slap a logo'd sticker on it with some kind of company message on it to make it unique to your company.

    Can you tell I work with teachers of young children? x;-)

    Actually, several years ago, we considered giving Swiss Army-type knives and decided against it, since employees are not allowed to bring any type of weapon or object that could reasonably be used as a weapon to work.
  • No, no, HRQ! If someone has an alergic reaction to one of the pain relievers in the kit, who do you think is responsible? Also, will the bandaids be sterile?

    I cut my toe once on the bath plug in a hotel in Akron, OH. It was cut pretty bad and bled quite a bit. You wouldn't believe the hoops I had to jump through to get a bandaid. I finally talked to the manager and assured her I understood her problem but that I needed to leave and couldn't put my shoes on until the bleeding stopped. She came up and looked for herself and finally gave me the bandaid with my assurance that I knew it was just a regular bandaid and not guaranteed to be sterile. 8-|
  • Did I SAY pain relievers? x:D I wouldn't include any kind of medication either. But I WOULD include anything that is sealed by the manufacturer, such as antiseptic wipes, individual packets of neosporin, gauze, etc plus some easy reference cards with the ABD's of CPR and other handy info.

    I've never seen bandaids that aren't individually sealed in those little paper packets. We use store-bought bandaids regularly on the children who get boo-boo's at our schools. I've never thought that they might be tainted.

    I'd be concerned about a hotel that is reluctant to give you a bandaid. Unless maybe they KNEW the little paper packaging thingie had been torn. Or maybe they fought a battle with some guest over an infected wound covered in a hotel-provided bandaid and they became gun shy. (Or bandaid shy, whatever.)

    I suppose the moral to the story of this entire thread is - don't give something that is likely to be unsafe, but don't be afraid of giving nothing but paycheck bonuses either.

    Sorry if I sounded defensive there but I needed to answer you - I do appreciate your reply! x;-)
  • We recently bought a kit for work here and it had tons of different kinds of pain relievers in it. According to our employees, they are the wrong kind (what else?). I guess I just assumed any kit would include pain relievers. Now what is that old saying about ASSUME? Never mind! Don't answer that!

    Actually, the bandaid the manager gave me was in its own little package. But the box didn't say sterile and she was quoting a recent court case where someone got an infection after using a non-sterile bandaid. The unfortunate company who only tried to help lost the case. Anyway, apparently if the box doesn't say they are sterile, you cannot ASSUME they are. x:D

  • I was talking about creating your own first aid kit so it is a unique gift for the employees, so one could control what goes in to the kit. (i.e. pain relievers)

    Wow - what a learning experience. I have never thought twice about a bandaid - from the store, first aid supply company, hospital, whatever. Of course, now I am thinking about the thousands of bandaids we've applied to small children who are generally germ-magnets anyway. Fortunately I can pass this little tidbit on to our Ops Director to consider. Nothing like a little delegation!

    Isn't it amazing how no matter WHAT you come up with, you have to consider every potential problem? My employees have even been offended by logo'd t-shirts. "You are trying to get cheap advertising with this"

    I promise never to ASSUME again, if YOU promise the same. x;-) Thanks for the input! x:D

  • How in the wide world of sports did we get from knives as service awards to the quality of bandaids in our first aid kits????? x:-/
  • Now you made me go back and read again...

    The initial post was regarding giving knives as safety incentive awards, and whether or not that was a wise idea. I suggested awarding personal first aid kits instead, with cutesy stuff such as Scooby Doo bandaids. (Keep in mind I employ teachers of children ages 6 wks to 12 years)

    NaeNae55 shared some concerns about first aid kit supplies such as pain relievers and non-sterile bandaids and her personal experience with this which enlightened me about bandaid quality.

    Hey, you saved me the trouble of looking up [url]www.jjkeller.com[/url], so I'm returning the favor by recapping what I consider to be the highlights of this thread.

    Always happy to help a fellow labor-saving device. x:P
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