Toolbox talks are a great way to get together with your team and discuss safety. A toolbox talk is a meeting designed to discuss a specific job or workplace related topic. These meetings are held to refresh minds for an upcoming event, job or workplace related issue. These talks should aim to refresh, motivate and prepare your team.
By holding a talk before a job or event, you are planting a seed of discussion among your employees and co-workers. The topic will be on their minds, increasing the likelihood of safety conversation and heightened awareness while on the job.
A safety culture can begin to grow if toolbox talks are held regularly. With safety discussions becoming a regular part of the workday, week or month, employees will start to live by that safety culture being built.
To build a safety culture by holding regular toolbox talks, your talks need to meet certain standards. A safety culture won’t come from disorganized, random thoughts presented to your employees before a job.
For a safety culture built by toolbox talks you should:
- Choose topics wisely. Each toolbox talk should serve a purpose. The topic chosen should always be relevant to what is currently happening. Remember that the point is to refresh minds and encourage safety discussions among employees. When the topic correlates with the days work or events, it is more likely to resonate with your audience.
- Schedule talks frequently. Present toolbox talks more frequently than not. Once a week or once every other week is an ideal schedule for toolbox talk presentations.
- Create presentations. Decide how to present your toolbox talks. Pick a format that will work best for your topic and listeners. If visual aids or safety equipment will help get the point across, include them.
- Incorporate multiple speakers. Involving employees in toolbox talk presentations will excite the eager and encourage the bored. Try assigning pairs to a presentation- this could also provide a team building opportunity. Choose someone who will present the talk successfully and with knowledge. Do you have an employee or co-worker who works on cars in their free time? They might be perfect to present your vehicle safety talk.
- Engage your listeners. Anyone can memorize a script or powerpoint. Do some research to familiarize yourself with the topic if you aren’t already knowledgable about it. Think of ways to include your listeners in the presentation with questions or hands on examples. Try incorporating real experiences you’ve had or ask your listeners about theirs.
Toolbox talks are a great way to incorporate safety into your workplace. While they are an important aspect to building a safety culture within your company, toolbox talks are a rather casual meeting and should not take place of proper training. Each individual requires prior training and should not rely on the talk to prepare them for a job.