As a workman of any stripe, your tools and equipment will represent your biggest investments. They are essential to your business, and extremely valuable to boot. As such, your equipment can also become a liability – whether through breakage, theft or injury. But what can you do to keep your equipment safe and protected?
Store After Use
The simplest thing you can do to ensure the safety of your tools is to store them properly after use. Whether you are working on a domestic project or a larger commercial undertaking, it can be tempting to leave tools strewn about your working area for ease of access, and to aid ‘flow’ in your work. However, leaving your tools out and unattended invites risk, in a number of ways.
For one, leaving tools out in the open can invite theft from trespassers on-site. If your tools are out overnight, this is more likely, but some commercial jobs might see easy access from passers-by. Unattended tools are also a key health and safety risk, where clients or passers-by could trip and fall, or otherwise injure themselves on equipment left in their path.
The best way to indemnify yourself against potential site injuries, and to reduce the risk of on-site theft, is to ensure your equipment is safely stored between uses; immediately after finishing with a tool, sheathe or store it in your tool chest or bag, away from your working environment.
You can combat the ease-of-access factor by using a tool chest on wheels, that can be repositioned wherever you are working. This enables you to stay in your ‘flow’, without advertising your equipment and without risking others inadvertently.
Lock Them Away
At the end of a working day, you might be tempted to leave your tools and equipment on-site. If the site is secure enough, and your client can guarantee various safety measures to keep your tools safe, this may be viable. However, in remaining accountable for your own equipment you may be best-placed ensuring your tools’ safety on your own terms.
Functionally, this means taking your tools with you at the end of your shift, and locking them away safely in a secure location. Your van might be secure enough for tool storage if equipped with aftermarket locks and other safety measures, but the single safest solution is to ensure they are locked behind a closed door in a building.
CCTV and Alarms
Lastly, there are long-term safety and security decisions you can make to protect your investment in tools and equipment. Long-term storage is necessary for equipment storage between jobs, whether in your garage or at your base of operations. These could easily become targets for planned theft, and should be engaged with accordingly.
CCTV is a powerful deterrent against trespass, and can be uniquely useful in identifying perpetrators in the event of a break-in. Likewise, an alarm system can be strong deterrent if triggered, adding to the barriers between would-be criminals and your investments.