How to maintain your tools and equipment at work
No matter your industry, taking care of your tools is essential. Not only does it help you to get the best value out of your equipment, but proper care protects the safety of staff, visitors, and members of the public too.
Ensuring that your staff know how to use their kit is crucial too. From 2021 to 2022, 18% of all non-fatal UK workplace injuries were caused by handling, lifting, or carrying. Without ensuring relevant training on handling heavy machinery and complex equipment, the risks multiply.
There are several ways to ensure good practice if your company relies on advanced equipment, and we’ve covered five strategies in this concise guide.
Looking after tools and machinery at work: Five essential steps
- Read the manual
Appliances and tools are supplied with user manuals for good reason.
Reading the manual as soon as your new equipment arrives will help to make sure that senior leaders in your team understand how to use it. In turn, training sessions will be as accurate as possible, and your team should have a greater awareness of how it should be handled.
When it comes to diagnostics, the manual is an invaluable reference point. Always keep it in a safe place even after your team uses the machinery every day. When you need it, knowing you can refer to the manual could save your business time, effort, and potentially expensive maintenance callouts too.
- Reduce multi-use
Even if it seems like a tool that can be used for a plethora of jobs, it’s important to remember that the wrong tool is a counterproductive idea. Using a tool for anything but its intended purpose could put unnecessary stress on the user and cause damage to the tool – along with any material it encounters.
Dealing with extremely heavy loads in a warehouse or manufacturing setting requires extra care and attention. Safe manoeuvres can be guaranteed when you encourage your team to use supportive tools like lifting slings, which help you to perform these important tasks more efficiently.
- Store them safely
How you look after your tools when they’re not in use is just as important as taking good care of them during day-to-day tasks. Vital equipment should be stored securely, preferably in the same place, both overnight and during the weekends or staff holidays.
Locked cabinets should be preferred for valuable tools, while larger machinery or complex equipment should be stored in a dry, safe and secure space. Do not risk leaving any electrical appliances in an area that’s prone to damp or dusty conditions.
- Get the training right
From your first few days with new equipment until it becomes well-established in your routine, is important to make sure your team are using it correctly. People can fall into bad habits, so regular refresher training sessions could ensure that littles and machines are being handled properly and safely.
Training sessions should cover posture and handling, technical instructions, and the relevant safety gear. Where appropriate, you need to supply the correct Personal Protective Equipment and ensure that your team know how to use, wear, and store it.
- Ensure timely maintenance
Instead of waiting until an issue presents itself, ensuring regular maintenance on your tools and equipment is recommended. This tactic can help to prevent problems arising and nip any problems in the bud before they exacerbate. The longer you leave a faulty piece of machinery in operation, the more you put your team at risk.
Your team must know how to use, store, and maintain the equipment they use every day. Furthermore, you should make every effort to facilitate processes with purpose-built devices and useful additions to your setup.