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How to give a toolbox talk

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Toolbox talks are an essential part of workplace health and safety and an excellent way to keep safety at the forefront of the minds for everyone.

Typically, once a project is underway, toolbox talks are conducted on a daily or weekly basis to reinforce the focus on safety throughout the project. Toolbox talks are known by various other names, including health and safety briefings or safety talks, but all essentially have the same aim of focus on workplace safety, directly attributed to that project.

Consistent and thorough toolbox talks can help to create a positive health and safety culture within organisations and help reduce the number of accidents – particularly within high-risk industries like construction.

In order to get positive results, you need the level of communication skill to deliver short, snappy and interesting talks that garner attention. Remember that toolbox talks are a great way to reinforce the basics, focus on the high-risk scenarios and inform employees about changes to the site or working conditions since the last talk. For example, inclement weather like heavy wind, snow, ice and rain can result in unsafe conditions, so a toolbox talk would address this and remind workers to be extra cautious.

6 keys to a successful toolbox talk:

  • Deliver the most important information clearly. Keep your audience’s attention without rushing through.
  • Focus on one topic relevant to that day – keep it concise. Toolbox talks should last 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Ask questions and request demonstrations from staff to keep them involved and engaged.
  • Cover all changes to the site or working conditions.
  • Have the employees inspect the tools, equipment and PPE that will be used that day.
  • Allow time for questions at the end, in order to give employees a chance to mention their concerns.

For more advice on toolbox talks please get in touch with our team today.

We provide occupational health and safety services and training for accident investigation, COSHH hazardous substances, construction design management, fire and health and safety awareness, managing contractors, manual handling and risk assessment.