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Dreading The Next Toolbox Talk?

Whilst a toolbox talk may not be the highlight of your business week, it is a legal requirement.  More importantly, it's an investment in the health and safety of your team.

In a Toolbox Talk, management consults with the team, and discusses situations that affect their health and safety.

A Toolbox Talk is not a one-direction presentation and the team is invited to share their views.  Team members are routinely encouraged to report health and safety concerns.

A template can guide you through the process. This includes workers sharing insights on:

  • Hazards and risks they have noted on site,
  • How the team could make better decisions on hazard controls,
  • The need for workplace facility upgrades,
  • Suggestions for health and safety (of workers) improvements,
  • Joint decisions on consulting procedures, risk resolutions, health and safety monitoring, and access to information or training.
Frequent, agile planning can keep Toolbox Talks to a ten-minute window.

Frequent, agile planning can keep the meetings to a ten-minute window.


How to get better results from Toolbox Talks

The more infrequent the talks are, the longer and more cumbersome they become. Frequent, agile planning can keep the meetings to a ten-minute window.

Topics usually vary depending on the project stage.  They might be focused on a job or task-specific safety if incident reports have grown in that area. The last year has seen many PPE usage instruction talks.  As well as the effect of the pandemic on job procedures. Keep the information clear, concise and structured.

Here are some tips to improve the talks:

  • Don’t do ad hoc meetings; plan them in advance
  • Give advance notice, so there's no scrambling or absenteeism
  • If necessary, prepare supporting sources for the talks to help get the message across
  • When you give advance notice, state that attendance is compulsory
  • Use templates to keep records of topics and signed attendance
  • Don’t make it a droning monologue. Instead, actively engage with the team and push them for ideas and feedback

Topics that could be covered range from protecting eyes, ears and respiratory systems, to safety at heights. They need to be is specific to a site’s current situation. Generic talks are a waste of time and disengage your team long-term.

Does your team need silica and silicosis education? Add it to your topics list. With the trend in facial hair, does a large percentage of your team grow a beard? Show them what a good facial fit of protective equipment looks like.  As well as the need for a good seal.

Your team will be a good source of topics, so dip into that rich resource.

Toolbox Talk Templates

Use templates to keep your team safe and your projects in good order! We offer the Toolbox Talk:

Toolbox Talk template download

Not sure what documents and procedures you might need in your trade? No worries! Simply visit Tradespeople Documentation.  Here find access to Builder Assist’s instant download of documents and procedures specific to your trade.