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Zip ties on northern shipments dangerous, says worker

Is someone sending a shipment north for you this Christmas? Tell them to watch the zip ties.

One of the easiest ways to bring goods to the Northwest Territories is to package everything inside a plastic tote bin, then seal the lid in place using zip ties through drilled holes.

However, a postal worker in Edmonton says those zip ties are becoming a health hazard because people keep trimming them back.

“Please do not trim the zip ties. Just leave them long,” implored Chris Hepburn, a worker at the Edmonton mail processing plant, in a post to Facebook.

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“It’s far less painful to be poked with the blunt end of a long, untrimmed zip tie than it is to have your forearm – and, one time, my face – slashed open by a stub of razor-sharp plastic.”

In full: Chris Hepburn’s post on Facebook

Hepburn says the ties have even been known to penetrate puncture-resistant gloves.

Writing on Wednesday, he said: “This morning at work, yet another of my coworkers had his hand slashed open by one of these razor-sharp trimmed cable tie stubs.

“It sucked for him, for the rest of the shift, having to deal with a bleeding injury to his hand while having to use that hand to do his job.”

Hepburn describes the facility where he works as the “air stage point for places like Tuktoyaktuk, Taloyoak, Inuvik, Yellowknife, Aklavik, etc.

“All parcels going up to this part of the North travel through here.”

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