Safety warning over hire tools

Published:  25 March, 2010

LONDON: One in two of the tools supplied by tool hire chains are faulty according to a Which? survey.

The discovery has raised concerns that amateur users, jobbing builders and handymen are being put at serious risk.

The Which? team hired 26 tools from separate branches of Brandon Hire, HSS, Jewson, Speedy, Travis Perkins and four independent hire shops. Four tools were also hired from HireStation through Homebase's telephone service.

They were tested in an independent laboratory for electrical and mechanical safety defects in accordance with the relevant British standards and guidelines from the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

All the companies, apart from HSS, hired out equipment which failed safety tests for one or more reason.

The evidence suggests hire store staff are failing to properly check and maintain the equipment they provide. Which? also has concerns they fail to provide adequate safety equipment and advice.

Most companies agreed to remove the tools on test from their shelves to investigate further and Which? reported the products of greatest concern to trading standards officers.

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