Banding is used to hold packaged goods, bundled supplies and containers bound for shipping. Some banding secures goods to wooden pallets. The banding itself consists of a metal strapping, soft fabric polyester strapping or stiff plastic poly strapping. The bands are secured by hand with strapping tools or by a strapping machine. Receiving-dock employees handle removing the bands. Several types come apart easily by hand, but metal bands have to be carefully cut off with heavy duty tools.
Remove stiff plastic bands that typically bind cardboard containers by hand. Twist the band where it overlaps to expose the back side of the poly strapping. Pull the loose end of the strap away from the bind to separate the overlapped ends. The poly strapping will snap and fall off the box as you pull it apart.
Cut soft fabric polyester strapping off containers and bundles with a sharp utility knife. Hold a portion of the strap in one hand and slip the knife blade under the strap a few inches from your hand. Hold the strap firmly and slice through the polyester strapping. Always cut away from your body.
Put on heavy leather work gloves, leather work shoes and safety goggles to work with goods bound by metal strapping. The tense straps spring outward when cut and the cuts create sharp edges.
Place the jaws of duck-billed shears, tin snips or bolt cutters around the metal strapping. Turn your face away from the metal band and squeeze the jaws of the tool together until you feel the tension from the metal strapping relax. Pull the cut banding out from the pallet, bundle or container and safely discard it in a sturdy plastic metal or waste receptacle.