Bristow Incorporates Tool Control Program

The Bristow Group has introduced a tool control program at its maintenance facilities. As part of this tool control program, Bristow has introduced Snap-On’s Level 5 ATC (Automated Tool Control) tool control system in its maintenance facilities around the world. I was able to see the first Snap On Level 5 Toolbox at Bristow’s US headquarters in New Iberia, Louisiana about a year ago and I immediately knew that this would be a major change from the way maintenance has typically been performed in the past.

I have been forced to accept the fact that I am from the old school where each mechanic had their own toolbox. Although it may be tough to accept and comprehend for an old school guy like myself, the times have changed.  I look at my box crammed full of tools and “stuff” and realize this change is a positive move for safety.

The new tool control program at Bristow is part of the company’s Target Zero Initiative.  This company-wide safety program has been a major step for Bristow worldwide and encompasses all aspects of operations and maintenance and serves as a focus point for all levels of activity within the company. Bristow says its Target Zero Initiative program is working well for the company and the incorporation of the tool control program that includes the Snap On Level 5 ATC takes this program another step.

The Snap On Level 5 ATC system was first incorporated at Bristow’s major maintenance facilities in Aberdeen, Scotland and then in New Iberia, Louisiana. Over the next year, the rollout of the Level 5 system will continue to all Bristow base locations worldwide.

The Level 5 ATC system is being incorporated as part of Bristow’s Tool Control Program. The primary objective of Bristow’s Tool Control Program is to ensure flight safety by eliminating equipment damage caused by lost or misplaced tools. The Tool Control Program is a means of accounting for all tools and rapidly highlighting removed tools, thus reducing the potential for FOD. The Tool Control Program applies to both company-furnished and employee owned tools, and is implemented by shadowing and inventorying all tools. 

Alan Corbett, Bristow managing director says, “Bristow is continually looking for new ways to enhance safety and often it’s the introduction of new technology that can allow us to do that, the concept behind the maintenance kit is a simple but effective one. It absolutely makes sure that the maintenance engineers are aware of the location of their tools at all times and minimizes the potential for human error. The industry has been looking for new ways to improve tool control for many years and this is a significant step forward. The technology has been successful in the bases where its already been introduced and we look forward to rolling it out fully over the next year.”

The rollout of this new tool control program at Bristow represents an investment of over 5 million US dollars. It is a major investment in safety, and serves as a management resource to help eliminate FOD related accidents, loss of life, and damage to equipment from FOD. 

Bristow and Snap-On Industrial have been working together to incorporate this new technology throughout the Bristow Group global network of locations.

Target Zero

The number one core value at Bristow is safety. Target Zero; Zero accidents. Zero harm to people. Zero harm to the environment, it’s what’s expected every day. Target Zero is Bristow’s common global framework for all safety discussions; it’s also everyone’s commitment. To achieve Target Zero, Bristow’s employees are empowered to challenge unsafe conditions and speak up. Target Zero is our belief system, and is present within all levels of the Bristow organization.  

Tool Control

The Snap-On Level 5 ATC system consists of a Snap-On toolbox with engineered tool layouts in high visibility foam and Snap-On asset management software. The system is accessed by authorized employees using their company provided employee identification badge. Once the toolbox is accessed the employee removes the required tooling and the system records the transaction using trained camera recognition along with the asset management software. The Snap-On Level 5 ATC system is capable of instant tool inventory, and identification of the person that removed the tool. Bristow also provides flight line toolboxes to employees for maintenance preformed outside of the hangar areas and access of Snap-On Level 5 ATC systems. The flight line boxes are a portable cantilever design and contain tooling specific to flight line work activities. The flight line toolboxes are shadowed using high visibility foam for quick identification of misplaced tools. In addition all Flight line toolboxes are inventoried for contents and verified at the end of task.