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After the Chef noticed a horrid burning smell coming from his oven, he decided to investigate and found this pair of pliers which had been left behind after an Engineer came out to fix it around 3wks ago. This incident could have been so much worse, as you can see from the image. This emphasises the importance of having Visual Tool Control in place.

The risk of leaving a tool behind after a maintenance job or other work can be significantly reduced by ensuring all tools are accounted for at the completion of the task. To achieve this, tools must be checked before and after each job. Tool control solutions make it easy for tool checks to be carried out quickly and accurately.

“A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Tool control works by making it easy to identify when a tool is in use or missing.

  • Assign every tool a unique “place”.
  • Create clear visual clues (e.g. using colour) which marry each tool to its individual place.Visual Tool Control
  • Specially designed cases make it impossible to put the tool back in the wrong place.

Staff must commit to ensuring that tools are returned after use.

  • Each tool should be replaced in its unique “place”.
  • Staff can see easily when a tool is missing, so are prompted to look for it and return it.

Processes should be adapted to ensure checks and audits are carried out.

  • Tool control makes it easier and faster for staff to complete a visual check.
  • Processes should include tool audits or checks at the start and end of each job.

Visual prompts, often using colour, enable users to check the status of a tool at a glance.

  • When a tool is required, users know exactly where to look for it.
  • When a tool is not in its place, it is easy to identify that it is missing.
  • Action can be taken quickly to locate a missing tool.

It is important that you make it easy for workers to report a missing tool.

  • Instigate a clear process for reporting a missing tool.
  • Encourage employees to report any missing tool.
  • Have clear processes and identify decision makers who can stop or release the process / job in cases of a missing tool.


If you would like to discuss a project with us, we would be delighted to receive your call. Call us today on 01908 307 956 or alternatively please contact us here.