Improve Company Safety with Great Toolbox Talks

Improve Company Safety with Great Toolbox Talks

How can you hold effective toolbox talks to ensure your team is safer on the job?

A toolbox talk, or tailgate talks, are typically given to a small group of workers early in their shift. The talks will usually detail one specific safety topic or issue that you would like your team to focus on for the day. Toolbox Talks are usually quite a bit less structured and formal compared to a regular safety training course and are not meant to be in depth reviews, but rather, used to keep a topic front of mind.

The Associated Builders and Contractors annual safety performance report states that daily toolbox talks can have a significant impact on the number of accidents and recordable incidents at a company. They went on to discuss how the frequency and quality of Toolbox talks have been shown to be one of the best indicators of a company’s overall safety performance.

So how can you hold effective toolbox talks to ensure your team is safer on the job?

Keep the Talk Relevant

When conducting toolbox talks you do not want to waste your time or the time of your workers by discussing risks or safety issues that are not relevant to their work. For example, if you were speaking with a group of welders, you would likely get little engagement if you spent fifteen minutes discussing risk management related to using a telehandler.

Keep each toolbox talk to the point and relevant to your team for the best results. #2: Involve your senior workers.

Involve your Senior Workers

Improving safety at your worksites starts with engaging your senior employees and supervisors. Newer employees are looking to senior team members to set the example, and so their support of any new safety program is critical for any meaningful, sustainable improvements to occur. A great way to garner this support is by getting your senior workers actively participating in daily toolbox talks, whether by encouraging them to share personal safety stories, having them present information themselves, or by simply letting them choose the discussion topics. Regardless of how you do it, involving your senior team members in worksite safety is a terrific way to take advantage of their experience and authority, promoting and sustaining a positive ripple of change throughout your organization.

Mention Examples

Numbers and stats are typically not memorable. You can tell your team that they are 20% more likely to have an accident if they do not pay attention to this or that, but you are likely to have insignificant impact on your workers. If instead, you used an example of a real person impacted by an accident, or someone who escaped a catastrophic accident because they followed the safety policies, you are likely to have a much greater impact. Integrating real world examples into toolbox talks is a fantastic way to make them more meaningful.

Eliminate the Paperwork

There are countless companies now offering digital forms and other paperless ways to eliminate paperwork while still maintaining a detailed record of meeting notes, signatures, checklists, attendance, and much more. One simple way to improve toolbox talks is to take paper out of the equation allowing you to share documents between offices, find records of previous talks and so much more without the headaches associated with paper documents.

Frequency is Key

One of the most crucial factors for safety is making it a habit. Scheduling time each and every day to have toolbox talks with your workers can make it a habit that sticks around and truly has a lasting impact. It is also important that you are not leaving it up to your memory to hold toolbox talks. Hold yourself accountable and schedule them in every day. Whether your company requires them or not, if you work in a high-risk industry toolbox talks can have a major impact and keep your team safer.

Download Center

  • Industrial Premium Library

    Empower your workforce with the manufacturing, industrial maintenance, operations, HSE, compliance, and professional development skills they need to complete their tasks efficiently and safely. Not only will you boost productivity, reliability, skills, and morale but you’ll also onboard faster, and retain your best employees while meeting regulatory standards. Vector Solutions offers over 1,800 award-winning eLearning courses designed to keep your employees safe, transfer knowledge of fundamentals, and develop industry and job-specific skills that reduce downtime, maintenance costs and more.

  • Safety Metrics & Insights Webinar

    EHS professionals have been tackling the subject of how to best measure performance for many years. Lagging indicators like the Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) and Days Away Restricted Transfer Rate (DART) are a good place to start, but you shouldn’t forget about the leading indicators that your workforce does every day to prevent incidents from occurring. Learn about some of the most common KPIs of safety programs and how Vector EHS Management software can be used to track these metrics in this webinar.

  • Risk Matrix Guide

    Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively. Download this guide for details on risk matrix calculations including severity, probability, and risk assessment.

  • OSHA Recordkeeping Guide

    In case you missed it, OSHA recently initiated an enforcement program to identify employers who fail to electronically submit Form 300A recordkeeping data to the agency. When it comes to OSHA recordkeeping, there are always questions regarding the requirements and ins and outs. This guide is here to help! We’ll explain reporting, recording, and online reporting requirements in detail.

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - September 2022

    September 2022


    • ESG
      EHS Will Guide Future ESG Success for Many Organizations
      Handling Material Handlers: Training Beyond PIT Requirements
      The Missing Link with EHS Software
      Noise Surveys from the Trenches
    View This Issue