Having the right tools for a job is important whether you are working on a home project or running a large company. When you have tools that are used regularly, it is very important to ensure they are organized properly to ensure they do not get lost, damaged, or even stolen. What many people do not realize, however, is that having a good tool organization strategy can also help you to improve the safety of your facility. Learn more about tool organization for safety and then plan out the best policy for your company.
How Can Tool Organization Help with Safety?
While just about everyone would agree that tool organization is a good idea, some might question exactly how it can help improve safety. The fact is, there are several key safety improvements that a company can enjoy by using the right organization strategy.
- Grabbing the Right Tools – If you have tools organized properly, it will be easy to grab the proper one for a given job.
- Avoiding Damaged Tools – Tools need to be in good working order in order to be used safely.
- Fast Access to Tools – There are many times when you need to have access to the right tool right away or it could cause an unsafe situation.
Taking an in depth look at each of these things will help to illustrate just how much being organized with your tools can help to keep everyone safer.
Using the Right Tools
It is typically possible to complete a job using a variety of different tools. Using the right one, however, will help ensure the job is handled correctly and as fast as possible. The right tools will also help to minimize the risks of accidents and injuries.
For example, if someone is working on electrical equipment and they need to remove a part using a screwdriver, it is technically possible to perform this task with most any screwdriver that will fit. Using a non-conductive screwdriver, however, will make it so nobody will get injured even if the tool accidentally comes into contact with an electrified component.
In addition, the right tool will allow the person working on the equipment to ensure the part is properly secured in place once it has been replaced. If they are unable to tighten the screws enough, the part could become loose over the course of time. Depending on the situation, this could cause a serious safety hazard down the road.
Keeping Tools in Good Shape
Most tools are really made to last. They are durable because they are used in many different situations where they will get bumped around or exposed to the elements. The fact is, however, that damaged tools are unsafe tools.
Keeping your tools organized will help to reduce the risk that they get worn out or have other damage. This will help to ensure that when someone grabs a specific tool to complete a job, it will perform the task at hand properly and without any issues.
In addition to preventing the tool from getting damaged by not being cared for, it will also help to ensure a tool that is damaged is repaired or replaced right away. When tools are organized properly, it is much easier to see when one of them is not in good shape. This way nobody will be using tools that are not safe enough for a job.
Having Tools When you Need Them
In most situations it is not a big deal to take a few minutes to look for the right tool. Of course, spending time looking for tools is a form of waste so it is not a good thing, but at least it is not putting anyone in danger. There are some times, however, when having immediate access to the right tools can help to keep everyone safe.
For example, if there is a machine that is malfunctioning and it needs to be shut down fast in order to avoid danger, the right tool needs to be close at hand. Another example of when this could happen is if a worker becomes wrapped up in a strap or other materials that is being pulled tighter by a machine. Having instant access to a box cutter, scissors, or a knife will make it possible to cut them free. If the people involved do not know where the required tools are located, the situation could be deadly.
While most of the time these situations will not be life threatening, but there are undoubtedly times when having the right tools right when you need them will keep people safer. Given the fact that there are so many other benefits to a proper tool organization strategy, there is really no reason not to make sure this is being done.
How to Organize Tools for Safety
It is obvious that properly organized tools will benefit a facility in a variety of ways, including making everyone safer. The question that really needs to be asked is exactly how to organize the tools in order to get the biggest benefits. There are quite a few different options to choose from. For many companies, it will be possible to implement multiple different strategies to ensure that the tools are not only in their place, but also easy to find and identify when needed.
Color Coded Tool Organization
One of the best things you can do to ensure your tools are organized and as safe as possible is to use a good color-coding strategy. Using different colors to convey information is a very common strategy that just about all facilities use in many different areas. This can be something that will help to make different types of tools easy to identify. Some examples of how this can be done include the following:
- Non-Conductive – Marking all tools that will not conduct electricity with a specific color is a great way to ensure nobody uses a conductive tool around live electrical equipment.
- Sharp Tools – Tools that are dangerously sharp can be marked with a set color to remind users that they need to take extra care or even wear personal protection equipment if they are using the tools.
- Waterproof Tools – Tools that can be used in the rain or other wet environments can be marked with blue or another color to make people aware. You could also mark tools that are not safe to use in wet environments if that is easier.
You can purchase tools that are already a specific color, which is often very easy. It is also possible to use tape or other materials on a spot on the tools to set them apart from the others. Another popular option is to color code the toolbox or other area where the tools are stored. This way people can see at a distance exactly what type of tools they are grabbing every time.
Using Peg Boards
Peg boards are a great option for organizing your tools. These boards allow you to hang various tools on the wall so they are easily visible. This will make them easier to access quickly when they are needed. You can also use tape or other markings to outline where the tools will go. This will help to ensure each tool is always put back in its proper location when it is not in use.
Having tools easily visible is very beneficial not only for improving safety, but also for helping to reduce the amount of wasted time people spend looking for the item they need. On top of that, having tools stored vertically like this is a great use of space that would otherwise go unused in most facilities.
Foam Tool Organizers
Foam tool organizers are often placed into toolboxes to help give every tool its own designated storage space. This will help to keep tools from getting banged together, which could cause them to become damaged. It will also make sure that the tools are easy to grab when they are needed.
Of course, this type of foam organizer will also make it obvious when a tool is not in its proper place. This will make it so tools are not likely to be left behind on jobsites or work areas. It will also help to reduce the risk of tools being lost or stolen, which will safe the company a lot of money.
Planning Your Tool Organization Strategy
Understanding that keeping your tools organized is important for the overall safety of your facility is a great first step. The next step is to start planning out how you will create the right policy for accomplishing your goals.
While it will take some time and effort to come up with the right way to keep your tools organized, it will be well worth the effort. Implementing a good strategy like this may be difficult since people often see it as extra work to keep tools organized, but once they start doing it, most people will realize that it is actually a great way to work more efficiently and with less frustration. With that in mind, start thinking about your tool organization strategy today.
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- A Lean Transformation: Tool Organization– kaizen-news.com
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- A Simple Guide for Tool Storage– blog.toolfoamsupply.com
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- 5S Supplies for Auto Shop– lean-news.com
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