Tool Room Assessment Check List

I can usually assess the health of an entire tool room by poking around for an hour. Through experience, I’ve learned to run through a simple tool control checklist as I look for the following items:

1. Documentation

Suggested Resources

Check out our articles on What is FOD? or How to Set Up a FOD Program for more information.

  • Is guidance posted?
  • Are forms properly filled out for each toolbox?
  • Are tools accounted for?
  • Was the box properly checked in and out?
  • Where’s the box or individual tool that is missing?
  • Are calibrated tools such as torque wrenches current?
  • What happened to the broken ones?
  • Who has the CTK that isn’t in the tool room?
  • If I go and look for it, will it be with the one who supposedly has it?
  • Are all lost items properly looked for? Documented? Tracked?
Tool Room

2. Tools Identified

  • Is every tool in the kit identified for that kit?
  • Is every tool singly identified (no double etching)?
  • Do identical tools such as torque wrenches that are stored together in a kit have a home? For instance, if five torque wrenches are all removed together, do you know which one goes in each spot in the drawer?
  • Are tiny items such as drill bits stored in a larger container so that they can be kept together as a group?
  • Is the larger container or sub-tray specifically identified for that kit?
  • How are your rags controlled? Do you count them out and count them back in again?

3. Tools Clean and Serviceable?

  • Pick each one up.
  • Are the kit and kit contents dry?
  • Are they free of corrosion?
  • Free of excessive oil and grease?
  • Are there any foreign objects in the box underneath where the tool lay?
  • Are there any foreign objects under the toolkit foam?
  • Is the toolkit interior and exterior in good repair?
  • Is the padlock on a lanyard?
  • Is the padlock etched?
  • Does each toolkit have a FOD bag or FOD can?

4. Test Equipment

  • Is it current in calibration?
  • Are accessories identified for that item?
  • Do individual training records document certification on high cost or special test equipment?
  • Are all items properly stored?
  • Are all items accounted for?
  • Is there a calibration schedule for all test equipment items?
  • Is there an equipment brochure available?
  • Are handles, knobs, dials and viewing surfaces tight and clean?
  • Are all screws, bolts, fasteners and general hardware accounted for?
  • Are power cords and adapters in serviceable condition?
  • Are batteries free of corrosion? Are they stored separately?

5. Leadership

  • Do managers and supervisors periodically visit and help inspect the tool room?
  • When it gets busy, do toolkit check-ins and check-outs become top priority for everyone in the tool room?
  • Is guidance and policy directed from the top down? Is there a good feedback process from the most junior member of the team back up to leadership?
  • Do supervisors reward top performers? Do they guide and lead by example?
  • Do supervisors assess their own toolkits regularly?

6. Quality Assurance

  • Does your QA inspect the tool room each month?
  • Are they fair in their assessments?
  • Do they share trend information with tool room personnel?
  • Do they spend time to teach and train?
  • When they walk into the tool room, do people fear their tread? (I hope not.)

7. Individual Tool Items

  • Are all separate items marked?
  • Are they checked in with the same care as a small toolkit?
  • Does each have a clearly marked home?
  • Are all the holders, racks and shadowed spots inventoried before the off-going shift is released from duty?

8. Bench and Operating Stock

  • Is the exact number of needed items counted out before they are handed over the counter?
  • Do technicians and mechanics have free access to bench stock?
  • Should you expect the old items back?
  • Do you trade an old bolt for a new? Should you?
  • Are similar containers of liquid clearly marked so you don’t hand out the wrong stuff?
  • If what the customer is asking for doesn’t sound right, do you question it?
  • If you hand out disposable brushes, sponges, paper and such do you know where they all went?
  • Should you be asking for them back?

9. The Non-Punitive Policy

  • What’s going to happen to the person who left the tool in the jet?
  • Have you implemented a non-punitive policy (quick to admit — all is forgiven)?
  • If you haven’t, what do you think might happen?
Tool Room Files