Whilst a toolbox talk may not be the highlight of your business week, they are a legal requirement, as well as an investment of time into the health and safety of your team. In this forum, management consults with the team and discusses situations that affect their health and safety.
It is not a one-direction presentation and the team should be invited to share their views and be continually encouraged, or even incentivised, to report health and safety concerns. A toolbox talk template can guide you through the process, which should include 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.
How To Get Better Results From Your 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 period.
Topics usually vary depending on the project stage and 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 and 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 of the meeting, so there is 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 toolbox talk 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. What they do need to be is specific to a site’s current situation. Generic talks are a waste of time and will disengage your team long-term.
Does your team need silica and silicosis education? Add it to your topics list. With the big trend in facial hair, do a large percentage of your team grow a beard? Show them what a good facial fit of protective equipment looks like, as well as discuss the need for a good seal.
Your team will be a good source of topics, so dip into that rich resource.
Use toolbox talk templates to keep your team safe and your projects in good order! We offer the Toolbox Talk Procedure template, the Toolbox Talk Record (WHS), the Toolbox Talk Register and the Toolbox Talk Record (General). Can’t find what you need? Call us with any questions you may have. Ph: 1300 278 689 or email: email@example.com today!