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4 Tool Organization Ideas to Enhance Ergonomics and Productivity at Workbenches

Jun 21, 2023 | All Articles, Ergonomics, Productivity

In an industrial environment, employees need a variety of tools to perform assembly, repair, or quality control tasks. Organizing tools in ways that are in harmony with ergonomic principles and streamlined workflows can enhance productivity and employee well-being.

In this article, we will explore 4 tool organization ideas that can be easily implemented at workbenches to make a difference in your workspace.

An optimized workspace is a well-organized workspace. The placement of tools should be planned after reviewing the workflow. The most frequently used tools need to be placed in the Primary Zone, also known as Neutral Reach Zone. It allows the workers to access them easily in a neutral posture with the least amount of strain on their bodies. Secondary Zone and Tertiary Zone are for tools that operators use less frequently or only occasionally.

Want to learn more about how you can set up your workbench according to ergonomic reach zones? Refer to our Ultimate Reach Zone Guide for detailed guidance.

Here are 4 tool organizing ideas to try out at your workbenches.

Tool Track, Tool Trolley, and Tool Balancer

Tool tracks are often found above the work surface to provide support for a tool trolley and tool balancer. It puts the tool within easy reach of the operator and keeps it off of the work surface when it is not used. Does your operation use tools such as specialized screwdrivers or precision measuring instruments in your assembly lines? Tool track in combination with tool trolley and tool balancer could be part of your ergonomic solution. It helps put the tool within the green reach zone and reduce the strain on the operators.

Tool track tool trolley tool balancer

Watch this short Ergo Chat video in which BOSTONtec’s senior applications engineer Rob Doucette explains how a tool track, tool trolley, and tool balancer could be an ergonomic solution for your operation.

Tool Holders

Tool holders provide designated spots for tools. It prevents clutter and minimizes the time the workers would waste looking for tools. In addition, it frees up valuable space on the work surface while still keeping the tools readily available. The operator can focus on the task at hand without distractions.

Power Tool Holder, for example, fits most handheld drills and impact drivers. It can be attached to the underside of a work surface or shelf to keep power tools within easy reach, as demonstrated by Rob in the Ergo Chat video below.

Another example is the scanner bracket. It can be mounted to the upright to hold handheld scanners or other types of compatible tools. The built-in flexibility of the uprights allows the scanner bracket to accommodate both left and right-handed users and different work processes.

Power tool holder scanner holder

Pegboard

Pegboard together with accessories such as hooks, brackets, and bins provide a home for tools. It can be mounted to workbench uprights. It is a flexible organization and storage solution making full use of vertical space. It can be customized to fit the needs of a specific task or operator. Frequently used tools are visible and easily accessible to the worker to reduce downtime and improve efficiency. When there is a change to the work process, it is easy to adjust or reconfigure the board to accommodate the updated needs.

Pegboard

Drawers and Overhead Storage Cabinet

Storage and organization are critical for a productive work environment. Drawers and overhead storage cabinets are excellent contributors to this goal. They can be used to store tools and supplies that are needed but not frequently used in accordance with the proper ergonomic reach zones. They free up countertop space for the task and frequently used items.

Drawers come in different depths and as single units or stacked combinations to enable categorization and added storage capacity.

Dividers or trays within the drawer can offer additional organization by assigning dedicated space to certain tools.  One example is a custom shallow drawer with compartments for tool storage.

Overhead storage cabinet can be mounted on workstation uprights. It provides additional storage space for tools that the operator only uses occasionally. The flip door can slide into the unit when opened.

Drawers overhead cabinet

Organizing tools according to ergonomic reach zones is an important step toward an ergonomically optimized and productive workspace. By implementing these practical tool support accessories, companies can prevent ergonomic injuries, reduce downtime, improve operational efficiency, and increase job satisfaction.

Need help planning your ergonomic workstations for optimized employee experience and performance? Check out our Plan Your Workstation Guide or Connect with BOSTONtec team for a free consultation.

About the Author

Nina Neuschuetz
Nina Neuschuetz
As the Marketing Manager for BOSTONtec, Nina brings a wealth of experience with over 25 years of B2B marketing expertise in both the United States and Europe. Her tenure at BOSTONtec has been marked by a keen focus on ergonomics within the industrial market. Notably, she lead an ergonomic study in collaboration with the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina State University and developed comprehensive ergonomic guides for industrial and commercial workstation environments. Nina’s role extends to collaborating with customers and partners, guiding them through market trends and solutions tailored for the industry. She holds a post-graduate degree in Marketing and Business Administration from the University of Passau, Germany. Connect with Nina to explore ergonomic solutions and industry insights on her LinkedIn profile.
Yi Han
Yi Han
Yi Han is the Marketing Specialist at BOSTONtec. Through her years of collaboration with applications engineers, customer service specialists, and customers, she has cultivated a deep understanding of the transformative power of ergonomics and its applications across industrial, medical, and technical settings . Her primary focus is to inspire individuals and organizations to find the right workplace solutions that optimize productivity and prioritize overall well-being. Yi holds an MBA degree from the Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management at Northwood University in Michigan. Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest insights on workplace ergonomics.

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