Hey Evil D, I figured I would update you on the progress. I did it! I have to admit, after I realized the correct order of reassembly, it was remarkably easy to put back together. I only wish I made a quick video to throw up here for someone's future reference in case they ended up in my position. I do however believe I may be redoing this process for him shortly in order to replace the washers in the knife.
As for the owner of the knife/my coworker, he is a flight medic, who carries the knife for emergency seat belt cutting for flights, the deployment button being so large, and given the environment I can't see him personally wanting the safety taken off. I for one can't stand any safety switches on any knife.