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close this bookSpecial Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Planting Trees - An Illustrated Technical Guide and Training Manual (ILO - UNDP, 1993, 190 p.)
close this folder8. Organizing the work
View the document(introduction...)
View the document8.1 Planning
View the document8.2 Workforce
View the document8.3 Labour requirements over the year
View the document8.4 Worknorms
View the document8.5 Coordinating the work
View the document8.6 Tools and equipment
View the document8.7 Supervision and control
View the document8.8 Records to keep

8.6 Tools and equipment

The importance of suitable tools and equipment can not be over-emphasized. "Suitable" means "adapted to the work and the workers". Inappropriate, broken and poorly maintained tools and equipment slow down the work and may cause injuries.

It is preferable to provide the workers with the appropriate tools rather than asking them to bring their own several-purpose, agricultural tools to the workplace. People from different areas, males and females differ in body size. The tools should be adapted in size and weight to the different body sizes of the workers. Providing good tools is a relatively inexpensive way to raise productivity. Tools can be issued every morning and returned in the evening, or they can be issued for longer periods. A record should be kept of which tools are issued and to whom. An inventory of all tools and equipment should be made regularly. It is important not to reissue damaged or badly worn tools to the workers. Material and tools for maintenance should be available at the site.

With time and heavy use, blades will become blunt, will chip and even break. Blunt or broken blades affect productivity, apart from being uncomfortable to work with. Regular maintenance is important.

Loose handles are dangerous and should be fixed immediately. Raised safety grips on the handles reduce the force needed to guide the tool and prevent tools from slipping out of the hands. Repair or maintenance can be done by sharpening the blade with a file or, when the blade is extremely damaged, by cutting back the blade and then sharpening it again.

Check regularly that tools are in good working order. Supervisors play a major role in observing if the tools are suitable for the different tasks, if they are properly maintained and sufficiently durable.

Tools and equipment


Tools should be adapted to the body size of the workers

Tools should be maintained fix handles


1. Use a conical handle


2. Saw a small slot in the end of the handle


3. Push the blade in place


4. Hammer a wooden wedge into the slot


Handles should have raised safety grip


Sharp blade