Top Tool Organization Strategies for the Workplace
You may not know it, but your facility could be losing hundreds of dollars every year in missing, misplaced, or stolen tools. By implementing a tool organization system in your facility, work is done more efficiently, a number of costs are saved, and you can be sure workers can easily find the tools they’re looking for.
Before choosing a tool organization solution, you will want to sort through the tools in the area with the principles of 5S in mind. The first step is to sort through the items in the area, only keeping the tools absolutely necessary to the job and remove any duplicate tools taking up space.
3 Industrial Tool Storage Solutions
Now it’s time to choose the tool organization system to meet the needs of your facility. We believe the best solution is one you can customize yourself! Whether you need to set up a new tool chest or clean up a messy workbench, these tool storage systems will keep your workplace efficient, productive, and organized.
Tool Foam Organizers
Don’t let the drawers in your toolbox become a cluttered mess of tools! Instead, utilize industrial tool foam to add structure to these drawers. As one of the most customized tool storage solutions, you can order sheets of foam (or cut them yourself) to fit snugly in any size drawer.
So, where do the tools go? This requires a bit of planning and assembly. After creating a layout for how you want the tools arranged, you will need to trace outlines around the tools to cut the shape out of the foam. You can create a shadow board effect by adhering that sheet of foam on top of a brightly colored sheet of foam underneath it. When a worker opens a drawer, they’ll be able to tell right away what tools are missing.
Custom tool foam organizers not only keep tools set in order but also protects them from damage. Closed-cell foam is sturdier than your standard run-of-the-mill foam. This higher-density material is made to withstand harsh industrial environments and is resistant to solvents, water, and oils. If you’re organizing tools in an FOD-prevention area, this is what you want to use.
Pegboards & Accessories
For decades pegboards hung in garages and retail stores, but have you considered installing one in the workplace? Pegboards are simple in design but extremely versatile, they can be installed permanently in workstations, used as mobile tool carts, or even organized like a magazine. An advantage of pegboards is just how customizable they really are. With so many pegboard accessories available you can store virtually anything on a pegboard:
- Attach shelves to keep any cleaners, baskets, etc.
- Use bins to store smaller materials like nuts, bolts, and screws.
- Install pegboard clips to hold hand tools like scrapers or screwdrivers.
- Connect pegs to hold rolls of duct tape, wrenches, sockets, etc.
Pegboards are extremely easy to set up and offer the convenience of flexibility. Any time you introduce new tools or get rid of the tools, it only takes some simple rearranging to accommodate. It’s easy for safety managers or workers to quickly glance at the pegboard and recognize what tools or items may be missing.
Tool Shadow Boards
Creating a shadow board is probably the best way to know where particular tools are stored when not in use. Like with the customizable tool foam, this organization relies on you to arrange the tools and outline their assigned space. When a tool is removed from that space, the outline of the tool will quickly alert operators to any missing tools. Shadow boards are set up near the workstations they are used at, improving the workflow for employees reaching for tools.
The important thing to remember when setting up a shadow board is to not use paint to create the shadow boards– if any tools are swapped or added, your outlines are permanent. Instead, cut the shape of the tools from industrial grade vinyl which can be easily removed if needed.
Why organize tools?
Tool organization systems come with many benefits:
- Save time: Don’t waste time looking for tools. Whether they’re lost in the void of a tool chest or misplaced somewhere across the facility, every minute spent searching for a tool is a minute of production lost.
- Prevent safety hazards: Tools can be dangerous if they are just laying around haphazardly or workers need to dig through them to locate a tool.
- Reduce costs: With tool organization, theft is deterred, and tools are less likely to go missing – meaning you won’t be spending nearly as much money on replacing tools.
- Increased productivity: Operators and employees actually work more efficiently when the tools they use are located near them and organized.
It’s important to take your time when planning a tool organization and remember, tool organization doesn’t have to break the bank! When your tools are organized, work is done more efficiently, your equipment is protected, and you can feel confident that workers are finding the tools they need.
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