SAFETY, ACCESS & TOOLS Safety and quality in a bag Ensuring you always have the right tools to hand when working at height is essential. John Dabb, sales and marketing director at Hyde, takes a look at some suitable solutions There are many practical considerations to be taken into account when working at height; precautions need to be taken to maximise safety, by using appropriate equipment and identifying potential hazards. Harnesses, hard hats, and sturdy ladders and scaffolding are perhaps the most often thought about precautions, but how a roofer carries their tools is less of a consideration. While most of us give due care and attention to selecting the right tools for the jobs that we do, choosing the right equipment to transport those tools from A to B, and keeping them conveniently close to hand, but safe when we’re working, is often considered far less of a priority. This is surprising when you consider that how you choose to store your tools can have a huge impact on your efficiency on-site, not to mention on the longevity of the tools themselves. It’s not simply a case of keeping tools organised, although this certainly helps you to work more efficiently. For roofers, it is also essential that the tool bag they choose helps them to work safely too. While a standard metal tool box is a sturdy option that helps keep the equipment inside safe and secure, particularly when it is in the back of your van between jobs, this option is not the most practical choice for tradespeople working at height. Not only is a metal tool box heavy and 100 FEBRUARY 2018 RCIMAG.COM cumbersome to carry up ladders, it becomes a tripping hazard when left unattended while you work. A synthetic or material tool bag is a lightweight alternative, and these are becoming increasingly popular among roofers. The best ones are those with multiple compartments so that all your tools have a place and are easy to get to. Tools to hand Tool belts are especially useful for anyone having to work at height, and for this reason are often used alongside either a tool bag or a box. A tool belt will ensure that your tools are always to hand, even when you’re working at height, eradicating the need to go up and down ladders and improving safety and efficiency. A tool belt can often be easier to organise too, as they have numerous pockets to make it easy to compartmentalise and ensure that even the smallest tools, screws and nails can be located with ease. However, they do have their downside, particularly when a tradesperson is bending down to work, as the tools themselves may dig into their sides, the user may end up taking the belt off, with the tools being strewn all over the floor. What roofers really need is a tool bag that combines all the durability and robustness of a metal tool box with the organisational capabilities of a tool bag, while also being easy to clip on and off your belt, which is really useful when working on flat roofs. This is where doing a little research of the market will pay dividends, as there are solutions on the market that overcome the “There are many practical considerations to be taken into account when working at heights” aforementioned issues, whilst combining the durability and robustness of a metal tool box with the organisational capabilities of a tool bag, as well as being easy to clip on and off your belt. One solution comes in the form of the ToughBuilt range, available in the UK through Hyde, which features various products designed to make the lives of roofers that little bit easier. Solving the issues of tool belts in one simple product, is the ToughBuilt Cliptech system. This tool pouch is designed to clip effortlessly on and off a tool belt, while its contents remain secure when it is not attached. When you’re working at floor level, the pouch can be unclipped and propped up nearby using the built-in stand at the back, enabling tools to be kept close to hand without causing a hindrance. Not only does this system mean that tools are always kept close to hand, it also means that there is less chance of equipment becoming damaged from being dropped. Available in a choice of sizes, the pouch has specially designed, no-snag hidden seam pockets, with a large capacity providing ample room to hold all kinds of every day tools, enabling roofers to carry out their work more efficiently.
RCI Feb 2018
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