We would work outside in the beaming sun for hours on end with breaks received only when my father sliced open one of his appendages and was forced to stop working. Needless to say, my sister and I were only eager at the prospect of being finished for the day, so we would urge my father to stall the work another day. Even when we thought we got a break by getting him to agree to post-pone the project, he would hit us with the most painful rhetorical question, the job isnt done until¦.? As me and my sister grinded our teeth, my father eagerly awaited our reluctant response, and then we would groan until everything is put away.
I now realize that my father was emphasizing the importance of organizing, monitoring and maintaining tools. Of course his reasons were obvious, having every item in its place allowed for time-saving when searching for tools, and each lost or broken instrument would not be cheap to replace. While my father always emphasizes that his lessons are life-lessons and they will help us in everything we do, I did not agree so much until this past week.
When On the third of Wednesday 2200 while performing a 400 hr airframe inspection I left a rag in the fillet panel above the right wing of A4090. When I began thinking about tool control, I initially thought only in regards to my profession and the tools I utilize when on the job. But, when I really got to thinking, I realized that tool control is important in all aspects of life and all professions where devices, instruments or technology is used. Tool control is important in all rofessions primarily because its the easiest way to run a smooth and effective business, however the safety concerns and expenses are just as significant in any successful profession. In this essay I will discuss the significance of tool control and accountability in regards to its safety concerns, effective mission completion and cost effectiveness. While to some people, using tools is daily way of life, to others, a tool is nothing more than an instrument used to complete a specific task.
In my profession, in my life, tool control and accountability are instinct and must be habitual, as a mistake in my line of work, could mean death and destruction for many. It might be difficult for some to imagine inanimate objects, tools, as weapons of murder, it is a reality with Reapers. In my line of work there is no room for mistakes, especially when it comes to tools. We must know where every tool is during every hour of the day. Even if a tool doesnt move for months at a time, or it is only used for just one second, it must always be logged out and logged back in again when it is returned.
Tools must be monitored because if they are not accounted for, people can and will die. Although this is a weighty statement, it is true and it is a serious role of my job to prevent such tragedies. In order to prevent deadly accidents, we must be accountable and responsible for the tools we use, making tool accountability everybodys collateral duty. According to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), Tool control is one of the areas where 99% performance is not adequate. This would mean one tool in every one-hundred tools is misplaced.
The standard must be that among the tens (or hundreds) of thousands of individual uses of tools over a year, not one is misplaced (FAA System Safety Handbook, Appendix F, p. 19). Unfortunately, despite efforts to reduce tool losses to an absolute minimum, such mishaps still take place but these issues are immediately addressed and the aviation industry is moving towards more efficient tool control (Federal Aviation Authority, 2012). Many aviation specialists will attest to the posing danger that tools can cause if not controlled properly.
Aircrew Survival Equipment man 1st Class (AW) Charles Anderson, is a day-shift supervisor for the US Navy work center 130 at VP-9. In an article about the significance of tool accountability in saving lives, stated, Accountability with tools can prevent a grave situation, its life and death. The bottom line is this, if a tool is in the wrong place, it could cause the aircraft to crash and kill the crew. (HASENKAMP, 2002). Tools affect safety, simply and irrefutable. Leaving a tool like a rag, in an aircraft is not just distressing but its dangerous.
Because my superiors have already realized that tool control is so vital to aircraft maintenance, they have established the program tool accountability which can provide many benefits, the most noteworthy is that it can create a safe environment. There are several components that make tool accountability programs successful, including tool identification, inspection and keeping accurate tool inventory. Tool identification is an important key to tool control, especially when more than one tool is present in a professional working environment.
Even though we may use nicknames like bird-shit or snips or outrageous hand gestures to identify some commonly used devices, it is important that everybody know the true dictionary name and intended purpose for each device.? Tool inspection implies that each tool is thoroughly examined before and after use to ensure that they are in working order and not missing any parts. If this important step is missed, a tool, or piece of a tool can get lost and end up in a very dangerous place. Or worse, the tool could be broken and without proper inspection before use, the tool is brought along and when needed the most, does not work.
Taking tool inventory, before and after each task is the safety net for missing tool reporting. When items are misplaced they become a hazard and pose a safety risk. In the aviation industry, the causes of lost tools can span the entire range of mishaps that are associated with the weaknesses of the human condition, but many accidental losses are caused by weak tool check procedures, inadequate supervision, the fact that there are many places to lose tools in aircraft and also many tools used in the aviation industry are small and hard to see.
Sometimes we only have our forgetful minds to blame, but in the end we will not be the only ones to suffer so it is important that flight crew as a whole takes responsibility for tool control and accountability. Therefore, when tools are monitored constantly, identified accurately and inspected thoroughly, (both before and after use) serious safety hazards can be easily prevented. Companies use many tools for effectiveness and efficiency. The reason these tools allow for proficient and successful business making is because they simplify tasks and if organized and utilized appropriately, save time and labor.
Organization is key when it comes to tools and tool inventory. Each tool must have a respective place where it can always be found and must be logged out properly by authorized persons. When tools are in the place they are supposed to be, users can save buckets of time when they need to retrieve tools. Imagine youre looking for a ? socket, and must go rummaging through a bucket full of a variety of different sized sockets, it would take precious time away from the mission searching for (180) ? sockets, (230) ? sockets, (5) ? sockets sockets.
It would be much more efficient to have an organized and labeled drawer or case where sockets of the same size were kept. Not only is time lost when searching for a tool that is not suitably prearranged, but people become frustrated, annoyed and tired when searching for one item for hours on end to complete a simple task that would only take 5 minutes with the right tool. While at the moment I am only referring to instances where the tool desired is present, imagine for a minute how tragic searching through that bucket of sockets would be if the ? socket were not there.
Airforce maintenance supports rely on a universal standards for organizing tools and equipment run through general guidelines that everyone should follow. Tools should be categorized according to function or application; tools should be laid out and separated into special groups if necessary. Next, storage methods must be determined. First you must be aware of how much tools are needed storing the rest in designated drawers, cabinets, and/or shelves for each tool or tool group. You can later refine your organization system by labeling and tidying each storage location.
The primary objective of any positive tool program is to eliminate foreign object damage accidents, loss of life and damage to equipment due to tool mishandling. Tool control is an important resource that addresses issues of safety, productivity and asset management, all in one single program (t-das). Ideally, tool control is suitable for many other applications throughout industries Tool control is just one element in complete Foreign Object Damage Prevention program and has been specifically designed to be used hand-in-hand with Foreign Object Damage Prevention systems, procedure nd program management.
A good prevention program is centered on good management, commitment and clear communication within the program team. Developing an effective tool control system is indeed hard work and requires a system for planning and reviewing details that will involves all users of tools. Luckily for me, my place of work has already established a great Foreign Object Damage Prevention program (Allen, 1999). In my profession, tool control and accountability are a primary focus and always a priority.
It is not a one-man job, it is the collateral duty of the entire team to ensure that all tools are used and maintained properly and returned to their designated locations. There is a specific set of guidelines that we follow in order to ensure all tools are accountable for. I would now at this time like to review the Control of Hand Tool & Accessories Program implemented by order the Commander of the 48th Intelligence Squadron. This publication outlines the Air Force Policy Directive for Air and Space Maintenance and creates responsibilities in order to insure proper control of tools required for successful mission completion.
There is an elaborate tool identification system in place in order to prevent mishandling and misplacement of tools. Section 3. 1. 1 explains the color coding system which I am very familiar with in my work stations. All squadron tools are required to be etched or stamped with the identifying owner shop and tool kit name, tools that are too small to be etched are color coded and placed in containers labeled with the quantity and type of tool. Section 5 outlines the tool accountability system or as I like to call it, the safety net.
It is basically a final review of all tools handled at the end of a project in order to ensure nothing was misplaced or lost. 5. 1 explain how all tool kits must be inventoried and documented in a master log before and after use. There are even specific procedure guidelines for tool and equipment that is missing and/or lost. 6. 2 states that upon discovery of a lost item, technicians must notify their supervisor immediately, a search for the item will ensue and if the item is not found after an extensive search, a supervisor must initiate a Lost Tool/Object Report.
While I can take some comfort in the knowledge that my supervisors have instilled such a solid and dependable system for tool control, I know that it will not be useful unless it is used correctly and it is followed every single time I handle tools or equipment, Something I will begin doing is reviewing my checklist of tools before completing an official tool accountability/inventory check to ensure all items that were under my care are accounted for and in proper, working condition.
These extra 2 minutes spent at the end of my tasks will help me to avoid situations such as the one that occurred last week and will allow me to make tool control a habitual behavior. Maintenance is crucial to organization because when items are not maintained and kept in their appropriate locations, they go missing or end up in hazardous places. You must be aware of all the tools you use and where they are at all times while in your possession and under your care, because they are your responsibility and you are accountable for them at the end of the day.