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Roundtuit  
#41 Posted : 05 November 2019 13:20:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

And the best way to foster the bad name H&S already has along with destroying any credibility within the workplace is to ban everything "because I.....". A small personal knife not being used for work purposes will never fall in to consideration as a work place risk warranting any form of control measures by the employer.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
WatsonD on 05/11/2019(UTC), Dazzling Puddock on 07/11/2019(UTC)
Hsquared14  
#42 Posted : 05 November 2019 13:26:18(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

Originally Posted by: Mark-W Go to Quoted Post

I have a good friend who is a prison officer, he's a nighmare to get hold of as he can't have a mobile with him either. I get the reson why but it is frustrating

Mobile 'phones are a relatively new invention we really don't need them to keep in touch with people but we have got used to having people on the end of the line 24/7.  Prisons are not the only workplace where it is not desirable to have mobile phones.  Perhaps they are another habit we need to break ourselves from having?

CptBeaky  
#43 Posted : 05 November 2019 13:41:14(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

And the best way to foster the bad name H&S already has along with destroying any credibility within the workplace is to ban everything "because I.....". A small personal knife not being used for work purposes will never fall in to consideration as a work place risk warranting any form of control measures by the employer.

I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one. There is no "because I". There is only "I see no reason". Give me a good reason and my stance will change. Having a "No Knives" policy is common sense. It leaves very little wiggle room. It sends out a clear message. It is easily enforced.

"Because it is legal" is not a good reason to allow it. "Because I have always carried one and I have never stabbed anyone" is also not a good reason. "Because it won't be popular" is another bad reason. "Because you can kill someone with a forklift truck" is yet another bad reason.

Maybe it is more to do with what industry I work in. All my roles it has been in male dominated manufacturing industries, with a large proportion of young males. It just seems common sense to have a blanket ban on all pocket knives. If they need a knife, we supply them with one. Preferably a safety, non-locking knife, with a blunt tip if practicable. Why is this a bad idea? Why is our policy wrong? Why would allowing pocket knives improve our workplace?

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A Kurdziel on 05/11/2019(UTC), lorna on 07/11/2019(UTC)
achrn  
#44 Posted : 05 November 2019 13:44:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

Surely if there is a "need" for you to carry a knife at work, the company should supply that knife. by doing this they ensure the correct tool is being used for the job. That the Risk Assessment relates to the toll being used. And, there is a procedure for checking and replacing broken/dulled knives.

I just can't see any reason for allowing knives to be brought into work. I don't care if they are legal knives or not. I don't care if there are more deadly things on the premises or not. The difference is that as H&S professionals we are meant to be in control of the risks. The moment you allow others to bring unchecked hazards onto a site you are losing control. Chainsaws may be more dangerous, but you don't allow people to just walk into the store and pick up a chainsaw. The same goes for forklifts etc.

Do you ban all personal property coming onto your site, because if there's a need for it the company will supply it?

I know such sites exist (I worked in one for a while) but they are very few and far between. 

I don't believe the role of the H&S professional is to be in control all conceivable risks whether work related or not.  It is not my job to control of every aspect of every employee's life from the moment they step onto teh premises until they leave.  We let employees (for example) wear lace-up shoes, even if it might be safer to mandate slip-ons (no laces to come loose and trip over).  We let employees eat doughnuts (even if a salad would be healthier).  We let employees use sharp-ended scissors, even if blunt-ended toddler ones would be safer.  We even let people put hot drinks in open-topped mugs!

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WatsonD on 05/11/2019(UTC), Roundtuit on 05/11/2019(UTC), Dazzling Puddock on 07/11/2019(UTC)
WatsonD  
#45 Posted : 05 November 2019 13:47:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

I just can't see any reason for allowing knives to be brought into work. I don't care if they are legal knives or not. I don't care if there are more deadly things on the premises or not. The difference is that as H&S professionals we are meant to be in control of the risks. The moment you allow others to bring unchecked hazards onto a site you are losing control. Chainsaws may be more dangerous, but you don't allow people to just walk into the store and pick up a chainsaw. The same goes for forklifts etc.

So you enforce this at your workplace then? Do you to carry out bags checks? Body searches? X-Ray machine?

What about other items that could be dangerous? Do you have a list of prohibited items for staff? Keys could be used as a weapon, as could hairspray or a cigarette lighter (especially when combined).

Is all very well getting on your soap box about whether something is dangerous or not. Nobody is suggesting that a penknife couldn't be used as a weapon. Nobody is suggesting that anyone should activley promote a 'bring your penknife  to work day'. However, it is important to be practical about what you are banning and why.

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Dazzling Puddock on 07/11/2019(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#46 Posted : 05 November 2019 13:57:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Why would we allow pocket knives to be used when a purpose sourced knife would do the job better and safer? I find it really strange that H&S professionals are arguing against reducing foreseeable risks. We have the right to search bags etc. If we felt there was sufficient evidence to. As for the rest, you are now just being facetious. And still I get no "good" reason as to why banning pocket knives is a bad idea. Just "Whatabout". Yes other things are dangerous. So? what has that got to do with whether supplying the right knife to do the right job is a good idea?

I will respectfully bow out of this conversation. I think we have answered the original query. i.e You can only do something about a legal knife being brought to work if you have already communicated a policy against knives.

As to whether you have/want that policy is up to the company/up for debate.

Hsquared14  
#47 Posted : 05 November 2019 13:58:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

I have just re-read some of the posts on this subject and frankly I am staggered if not appalled at how many people think that it is OK to carry knives and bring them into work with them.  Is it a boy thing?  Am I being oversensitive?  Honestly I see no reason at all why anyone should have any form of knife on them at all regardless of the size, type or stated purpose.  Given the level of knife crime in our country at the moment I think this is a terrible message to send to anyone and I am shocked at the number of my colleagues who condone people carrying knives, we really should be setting an example and acting as leaders not just in workplace safety but also for everyone in our community especially young people.  How can they be disauded from carrying knives when so many people on this forum condone if not actively encourage carrying knives.  Carrying knives is NOT OK no matter what the size or type of knife and we really need to be clear on this just like you can't be "a little bit pregnant" there is no such thing as a harmless knife.  Can I call on all of you who currently carry a knife to surrender it to one of the local police amnesty initiatives as a signal to the rest of the community that this is one less knife on the street. 

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A Kurdziel on 05/11/2019(UTC), CptBeaky on 06/11/2019(UTC), mihai_qa on 06/11/2019(UTC), lorna on 07/11/2019(UTC)
achrn  
#48 Posted : 05 November 2019 14:25:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

And still I get no "good" reason as to why banning pocket knives is a bad idea.

Intruding into employee's habits for no significant safety benefit is a bad idea because it reinforces the 'bonkers health and safety' stereotype and makes implementing genuinely useful safety measures more difficult: oh, here comes the H&S bod again, what's he got a bee in his bonnet about this time?

Edited by user 05 November 2019 14:37:47(UTC)  | Reason: spelling

thanks 2 users thanked achrn for this useful post.
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achrn  
#49 Posted : 05 November 2019 14:51:02(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: Hsquared14 Go to Quoted Post

I have just re-read some of the posts on this subject and frankly I am staggered if not appalled at how many people think that it is OK to carry knives and bring them into work with them.  Is it a boy thing?  Am I being oversensitive?  Honestly I see no reason at all why anyone should have any form of knife on them at all regardless of the size, type or stated purpose.  Given the level of knife crime in our country at the moment I think this is a terrible message to send to anyone and I am shocked at the number of my colleagues who condone people carrying knives, we really should be setting an example and acting as leaders not just in workplace safety but also for everyone in our community especially young people.  How can they be disauded from carrying knives when so many people on this forum condone if not actively encourage carrying knives.  Carrying knives is NOT OK no matter what the size or type of knife and we really need to be clear on this just like you can't be "a little bit pregnant" there is no such thing as a harmless knife.  Can I call on all of you who currently carry a knife to surrender it to one of the local police amnesty initiatives as a signal to the rest of the community that this is one less knife on the street. 

How much of the knife crime in the country do you think is being conducted with the sort of penknives / multi-tools that people say they are carrying?

Who is actively encouraging people to carry knives?  I haven’t seen that in the thread, I must have missed it.

Useful roles for my penknife blade:

Picking the thorn from my bicycle tyre last time I punctured.

Replacing the screw in my glasses last time it fell out.

Cutting the strapping round a box of paper.

It's fundamentally a bad idea to ban everything you can't think of a good reason to permit.  Our legal system is built on the premise that everything not banned is legal, and deciding that because we are 'H&S professionals' we should take the opposite approach gets us the reputation we have. ‘I don’t understand – ban it’.

The law of the land has decided there are sufficient good reasons to carry a small penknife that it has not banned them.  What makes you think you know better?

thanks 3 users thanked achrn for this useful post.
WatsonD on 05/11/2019(UTC), Dazzling Puddock on 07/11/2019(UTC), nic168 on 04/12/2019(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#50 Posted : 05 November 2019 14:54:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post
Why would we allow pocket knives to be used when a purpose sourced knife would do the job better and safer?

The OP and therefore most of the responses were not about using a personal knife in a work setting.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
WatsonD on 05/11/2019(UTC), Dazzling Puddock on 07/11/2019(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#51 Posted : 05 November 2019 15:25:44(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Even if you decide to allow personal knives on site you surely need policy to decide what sort of knives are permitted. Small pen knives permitted but what about a machete, or Bowie Knife or, carving knife with a 10 inch blade? There’s granddad’s bayonet he picked up in the war is that acceptable?

I am not against knives but I am not convinced that most people NEED them at work and in some workplaces, eg the abattoir mentioned there was  more than a suggestion that employees might like to practice their knife skills on each other. There management banned personal knives and didn’t really care if it made them look like spoilsports and interfering busybodies.  They rather be that than have to deal with stabbings and similar incidents.

achrn  
#52 Posted : 05 November 2019 16:52:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

Even if you decide to allow personal knives on site you surely need policy to decide what sort of knives are permitted. Small pen knives permitted but what about a machete, or Bowie Knife or, carving knife with a 10 inch blade? There’s granddad’s bayonet he picked up in the war is that acceptable?

All the discussionI have seen has been about knives that it is legal to carry in a public place.

It would be nice if those accusing people of irresponsibility (both explicitly and implictly) actually addressed what the people they are criticising said - I haven't seen anyone encouraging people to carry knives, and I haven't seen anyone advocating carrying machetes.

I don't need to write a policy about what knives are acceptable because the government has already done that for me.

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Dazzling Puddock on 07/11/2019(UTC)
WatsonD  
#53 Posted : 05 November 2019 17:06:20(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

Why would we allow pocket knives to be used when a purpose sourced knife would do the job better and safer? 

As has been said this is not about allowing people to use personal knives for work, but whether we should ban those who may carry one about their person into the workplace. AS I said mine are on a keyring and not actually used for work.

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

As for the rest, you are now just being facetious. And still I get no "good" reason as to why banning pocket knives is a bad idea. Just "Whatabout". Yes other things are dangerous. So? what has that got to do with whether supplying the right knife to do the right job is a good idea?

With respect to you, asking for a good reason NOT to ban something is a case of the tail wagging the dog and a dangerous path to navigate within any argument. What the counter arguments are about is whether there is  a good reason to ban them - which is IMO the only reason to consider a ban. This is not facetious.

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

Yes other things are dangerous. So? what has that got to do with whether supplying the right knife to do the right job is a good idea?

Again your comments suggest we are arguing for individuals to supply their owns knives for work - we are not. If you re-read the OP there is no mention of the individual actually 'using' the knife he has in the workplace, just that he has one.

WatsonD  
#54 Posted : 05 November 2019 18:00:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

@ HSquared It disappoints me that I come on these forums to join in an interesting discussion and end up being accused of encourging others to carry knives.

For the record I don't think the young people of our community are going anywhere near these forums, so I think we are on safe ground to discuss this in a balanced grown-up way without the need for accusations over peoples professionalism.

I have a small swiss army knife on a keyring. It was a secret santa gift last year from an anonymous work colleague. I keep it there and from time to time it comes in handy. If a work colleague was doing the same then I would have no issue. This is the sort of knife I imagined in the scenario the OP described. If people were bringing in large knives (hunting knifes), or using knives from home for their work then this is another matter altogether.

As I said in a previous post, it is up to the employer within the workplace and the workforce and environment they have. But please, nobody here is encouraging people to carry kinves to work.

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Dazzling Puddock on 07/11/2019(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#55 Posted : 06 November 2019 09:24:14(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

I am intrigued as to what "accident" would cause this heart attack 24 hours later.

CptBeaky  
#56 Posted : 06 November 2019 09:31:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Ignore last post (I can't delete my posts.) I would ask a mod to delete it, but we know how good they are.....

CptBeaky  
#57 Posted : 06 November 2019 13:24:20(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Originally Posted by: WatsonD Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

Why would we allow pocket knives to be used when a purpose sourced knife would do the job better and safer? 

As has been said this is not about allowing people to use personal knives for work, but whether we should ban those who may carry one about their person into the workplace. AS I said mine are on a keyring and not actually used for work.

Originally Posted by: WatsonD Go to Quoted Post

I have a small swiss army knife on a keyring. It was a secret santa gift last year from an anonymous work colleague. I keep it there and from time to time it comes in handy.

You didn't even make it one more post before contradicting yourself. This is my "good" reason for banning knives at work. People will be tempted to use them. They are not designed for doing the job. There ARE safer alternatives. The risk heirachy demands that we eliminate risks where practiable, and substitute for safer alternatives failing that.

Roundtuit  
#58 Posted : 06 November 2019 14:51:58(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post
I will respectfully bow out of this conversation. 

Regarding risk heirachy see post #41 

Edited by user 06 November 2019 15:03:02(UTC)  | Reason: post 41

WatsonD  
#59 Posted : 06 November 2019 17:28:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

You didn't even make it one more post before contradicting yourself. This is my "good" reason for banning knives at work. People will be tempted to use them. They are not designed for doing the job. There ARE safer alternatives. The risk heirachy demands that we eliminate risks where practiable, and substitute for safer alternatives failing that.

Where did I say I used it at work? I have it on my house keys. I do use it, as my earlier post stated, but NOT AT WORK! That is an embellishment of your own conjuring I am afraid.

On the other hand, you DID say you would respectfully bow out of the conversation. So I'm afraid it is you who is guilty of contradicting yourself - twice. You are not being respectful and you didn't bow out.

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CptBeaky  
#60 Posted : 07 November 2019 09:06:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Fair play. I apologise. I stand by my opinion, however I can see this is one of those topics that will not be solved through debate. When you have been a victim of knife crime I would imagine your opinion would change too.

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WatsonD on 07/11/2019(UTC)
WatsonD  
#61 Posted : 07 November 2019 10:44:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

@CptBeaky - No perhaps not. And, though I do hope its more of a case of 'if' not when, it is true I have not been in this situation myself - though I imagine it is terrifying and I apologise wholeheartedly if the debate has caused you distress.

I can be quite forthright in my approach and perhaps not as eloquent on social media (I am still learning) as I would like to think I am in person, and I am sorry if I have also been a bit tactless

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CptBeaky on 07/11/2019(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#62 Posted : 07 November 2019 10:45:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Weird how some topics seems to generate so much passion.

Similar passion was raised with, for example, use of hands free mobiles in cars and vaping at work. Most seem to revolve around personal responsibility/freedom of action vs corporate /collective needs. Perhaps this is “hardwired“ into individuals’ personal makeup.

So how do we deal with this at work: balance the desire of certain people to do things their way against the corporate requirement to actually manage what is going on and to reassure those in power that we know what we are doing?

Answers on a post card.

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achrn  
#63 Posted : 07 November 2019 11:42:51(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

So how do we deal with this at work: balance the desire of certain people to do things their way against the corporate requirement to actually manage what is going on and to reassure those in power that we know what we are doing?

Is this not begging the question?  There is no 'corporate requirement to actually manage what is going on' to this degree.  The business does not need to manage employees doing legal, normal, day-to-day activities peripheral to their work.  I don't need to manage employees dressing themselves or putting hot drinks in open-top breakable cups, or carrying about their person things they can legally carry in the street.

I accept that certain very specific workplaces do need to manage these things - one with a risk of an explosive atmosphere will manage potential ignition risks for example and might ban phones etc., and I worked on a site dealing with radioactive material that banned everything - you stripped naked on arrival at work, stepped across the line and dressed in company clothes and used only company equipment - nothing personal crossed the line.  Normal workplaces don't need to do that, but some people here seem to long for that approach (in management at least, even if they don't want to be issuing company underpants).

On the specific topic of small penknives not being used for a work activity, I don't need a knife procedure, and I don't need a knife policy.  The government has taken care of that in passing laws which very specifically identify what knives are legal to have about your person without a specific purpose.  I no more need a knife policy than I need a stealing-from-your-workmate policy.

Mopping up some other observations:

Yes I've had a knife drawn on me and been threatened with it.  I was alone, it was dark.  It was some decades ago, before the recent moral panic about knife crime (which may or may not be justified - I tend to trust what's in the popular press about as far as I could throw Fleet St). The fact that someone threatened me with a large fixed-blade sheath knife in no way alters my opinion of whether it is appropriate to carry a small 'swiss army' type penknife.

I do not support carrying a machete or similar large-bladed knife.  No-one in this thread has, as far as I can see, despite the accusations being made.

I do not advocate that everyone should carry a knife.  No-one in this thread has, as far as I can see, despite the accusations being made.

chris42  
#64 Posted : 07 November 2019 11:56:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Do we not deal with this as we deal with all potential hazards via risk assessment for our workplaces?

There seems to be a split as noted above where people’s personal views and experiences are playing a good part. I will admit openly that I do not think they should be banned without good reason.

They way I have looked at it is that not me, or H&S in general, but society has decided these legal knives are not considered offensive weapons, as its main purpose is not for attacking people. So, there is no general restriction on carrying them and without having to provide anyone with a reason for possession.

Of course, they could be used as a weapon, so if your workplace is say; somewhere like a prison as mentioned previously it is absolutely right that people should not carry anything that could be taken and used as a weapon, due to that type of environment. However, do we then “Ban” everything that could be used as a weapon in the workplace? I have seen people bring in knitting (with needles) and crochet (metal needles with little hooks) for lunch time, scissors, pens and pencils, the sharp knife from the kitchen (we all have one to cut rolls etc), screwdrivers and the list goes on. They could all be used as an offensive weapon, if someone was to lose control. Some of them could do way more harm than a small knife. Why just pick on a small knife. Is it because it is called knife, what about if I call it a folding edged tool? Less emotive?  

I have always worked in engineering related industries, where even office people will have things such as small knives, screwdrivers, metal rules, compass and the like in their desks, with other employees having access to all manner of equipment, where it would be unlikely that a small knife would be a weapon of choice if they were to off the deep end. If I tried to ban these little knives, once they stopped laughing and noted I was serious, I suspect they would not listen to anything I had to say again I would lose all / any respect and credibility I had. To them it would be like banning a club, but letting them have a gun, it would be seen as H&S overkill.

Hence why I think there should be a certain level of realism and that a risk assessment should be conducted. It should not be a case for me having to prove I need, but others proving in a particular instance I should not. I’m not saying anyone who feels differently is wrong as their views are coloured by their life experiences including the particular undertaking, they are in. But banning something because it could be misused the same as 101 other things that could be misused in the workplace but ignored, does not seem quite right. If other do an assessment and can get their employer to buy in then fine, but I suspect most companies do not have a policy. If people themselves feel they should not be trusted then they should not carry one, its obviously not for everyone, each to their own. And I am only talking about these small legal knives not hunting knives etc as you see on the news, you don’t see little folding ones / multi tools.

I do find they come in handy for all sorts of unexpected reasons both in and out of work. If I cut myself, I consider it my problem not anyone else’s even if at work. I never knew I was a thug and rebel until now. I’m going to be unpopular again aren’t I :0(

Generally, I’m not a bad person honest, I even try and shoo flies out the open door or window rather than kill (and I hate flies).

Chris

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CptBeaky  
#65 Posted : 07 November 2019 12:19:25(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Stepping away and calming down I think it comes down to the cognitive connections people have with a knife. When I see such things as such as chairs, knitting needles etc listed as just as dangerous as a knife, I accept that they are, but these things are recognised by me as tools that can be used as a weapon. A knife is recognised to me as a weapon that can be used as a tool.

I suspect the opposite side of the debate still see pocket knives as tools that can be used as a weapon, and therefore they see no reason to ban a tool from a workplace. Those of us the see a weapon can see no reason to allow a weapon into a workplace. In the same way we wouldn't allow an unloaded shotgun into a workplace, despite it being "legal" (I think, my knowledge of weapons licensing is lacking). 

If the original question was phrased that there was an allegation of a weapon being brought into work, we would be more likely to agree that this needs looking into. If it were a person bringing a sharp tool into work we would be more likely to shrug it off.

Sorry If I am misrepresenting anyone.

achrn  
#66 Posted : 07 November 2019 14:04:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

I suspect the opposite side of the debate still see pocket knives as tools that can be used as a weapon, and therefore they see no reason to ban a tool from a workplace. Those of us the see a weapon can see no reason to allow a weapon into a workplace.

I would say the knives being discussed are absolutely more a tool than a weapon.  You'd be barmy to use one as a weapon given all the scissors, pencils and (apparently) knitting needles littering the workplace.  Not only is it not a weapon, it would be significantly less effective as a weapon than lots and lots of other stuff.  The scissors in my desk drawer would be much more damaging than my penknife if I wanted to stab anyone, and much easier to use.

My penknife has about 20 functions (apparently, I think) and only two of them are knife edges.  It actually has got more flat screwdrivers than knife blades.  As previously posted, I use the knife blades more for flat prying (thorns from bike tyres, turning microscopic screws) than as cutting edges.

I don't really believe that anyone automatically views every and all knives as being more weapon than tool.  These people presumably have several knives in their own home (for eating and preparing food, if nothing else).  How can you reconcile that with a claim of such a strong aversion to anything called 'knife' that you feel it must be banned?

Edited by user 07 November 2019 16:27:43(UTC)  | Reason: truly egregious spelling

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Dazzling Puddock on 12/11/2019(UTC)
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