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As part of our ongoing relationship with the trade unions, discussion has taken place recently around the issue of operatives who are required to carry their tools on a daily basis, often using public transport. A number of incidents have been reported to the National Joint Council over the past two years where individuals have been arrested and in one case charged with possession of a knife. In order to limit these incidents in future we are issuing this document as a guide for TICA employers. Our tool kit as defined by our National Agreement is extensive, and we would firstly ask all our employers to consider carefully what tools if any need to be transported by an individual on a daily basis to site. The first question should always be ‘do we need an operative to carry tools or can the tools be delivered to the site in a van?’ If an individual needs to travel to a site alone using public transport and with his tool kit we would recommend the following:

  • All Operatives are issued with a standard ‘safe blade’ placed in the plastic protective holster.
  • Operatives should only be asked to carry tools to site as an absolute last resort if all other options for tool transportation have been exhausted.
  • When carrying tools – in particular knifes, operatives should be provided with a lockable holdall. The knife should be individually wrapped in a canvas wrapping and then secured inside the holdall with a padlock.

We recommend that employers regularly check the wear and tear of any holdalls and locks as you would do with any other equipment issued for health & safety reasons.

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