Your workers could be forgetting training a week later.

That’s right, up to 90 percent of job site training is forgotten within a week. No matter how well you train or how great your corporate trainers are, the scientific fact is most workers lose 70% of the information after a day, and around 90% of the information after a week. It’s no wonder why even the most extensive and expensive training can’t prevent all accidents.

the forgetting curve

However, there is one proven technique that can beat these statistics. It’s probably the best kept secret in the construction industry. A secret so simple that you’ve might even heard about before. The secret is Toolbox Talks with your staff.

You’ve probably heard the term “Toolbox Talks” or “Toolbox Topics” before. What are Toolbox Talks? They are brief, informative meetings held every week before the day’s shift starts. They are usually about safety topics relevant to your staff, but they can also be any topic that your workers care about.

Toolbox Talks TopicsThey are informal in nature, and create a comfortable and convenient environment that helps your staff absorb more information. And because you can give them every week, the knowledge is retained better and it keeps topics “fresh” in your workers’ minds.

A typical Toolbox Talk can be about current safety issues, such as problems the supervisors have been noticing on the job site. Or they can simply be a refresher on basic safety procedures, like when to wear a hard hat or how to deal with heat stress.

They can also give your staff an open forum to discuss safety matters, and can help alert your supervisors or managers to concerns that your workers might be having that week.

In short, they help boost morale and help call attention to potential safety hazards – and they keep your workers informed. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

How do you host a Toolbox Talk? It’s easy. Pick a topic (our safety resource page may help with that) and download a handout you can give to your staff. Give an overview of the topic, and talk about your own personal experience with that topic. Facilitate open discussion by asking open-ended discussion questions about the topic.

Luckily, Onsite Safety has a free online safety resource filled with dozens of Toolbox Talks available as PDF downloads. Hand them out to your staff for increased impact during these talks.