ECRC Quick Hits

QH1 | QH2 | QH3 | QH4

Project Title

Quick Hit 3: Knife Sharpening in Meat and Fish Processing


The overall aim of Quick Hits was to transfer occupational health and safety (OHS) research developed in Québec to Newfoundland and Labrador industries and workplaces.

The objective of this particular Quick Hits project was to transfer the knife-sharpening “Train-the-Trainer Program”, developed at Université du Québec à Montréal, to Newfoundland and Labrador. In the meat and fish processing industries, insufficient knife sharpness can hinder productivity and increase risk to workers for musculoskeletal disorders. The knife-sharpening “Train-the-Trainer Program” functions to train skilled workers in the training of others in knife steeling and sharpening, thereby enhancing the sharpness of knives used in processing plants. This reduces the force needed to cut, which in turn increases productivity and reduces strain and injury. In many processing plants in Québec, the program has been successful in improving work quality and productivity, reducing wastage, and reducing numbers of repetitive-strain and other injuries. It was hoped that the transfer and adaptation of this program into Newfoundland industries would be similarly beneficial, and would also provide insight into best-practice knowledge transfer and exchange methods required to enhance the OHS knowledge base in sectors within this province.

Lead Investigators

Scott MacKinnon, SafetyNet, Memorial University of Newfoundland
John Molgaard, Faculty of Engineering, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Other Team Members

Jacques Lesage, Institut de Recherche Robert Sauvé en Santé et en Securité du Travail
Nicole Vézina, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
Stephen Bornstein, SafetyNet, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Robert Parent, Université de Sherbrooke
Linda Sagmeister, Department of Government Services
Kathy-Lynn Lee, Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission
David Antle, SafetyNet, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Margaret-Ann McCarthy, SafetyNet, Memorial University of Newfoundland 

Training in Knife Steeling

Will it Make the Cut (video) - please contact for information

Training Manual(2007)

Training Presentation (PowerPoint)


For more information about the Knife Sharpening project, contact Stephen Bornstein, SafetyNet, Memorial University of Newfoundland





230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000