Safety meetings and toolbox talks are important for building a strong safety culture and reinforcing a commitment to safety and worker protection. Conducted on a regular basis, meetings and talks not only educate workers on safe work practices, but also helps an organization stay compliant with regulations regarding safety and training.
Safety Meetings are structured gatherings that cover the complete work plan, the risks and hazards, and the envisioned objectives. Safety topics include safe work practices, general personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, and basic emergency practices (e.g. medical, evacuation, security). Jobsite visits are encouraged to allow workers to familiarize themselves with the layout and hazards. Make sure everyone knows how to stop work to correct unsafe work acts or conditions.
Toolbox Talks are short, informal meetings held at the start of each day or shift. They generally they include smaller groups that focus on individual trades or work activities. Focus is the changes to the jobsite and working conditions since the last shift. It is a good opportunity to include a reminder of a particular safe work practice relevant to the day’s work.
Four Point for a Successful Toolbox Talk
- Keep it short. Recommended time is around five, but no longer than, 10 minutes.
- Focus on one topic relevant to the work to be done.
- Get workers involved. Select an individual to lead the discussion, or demonstrate the safe work practice.
- Allow for questions and answers at the end each talk.