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Toolbox Talk: Why is it Important?

A toolbox talk is an
open discussion on safety information that includes details about hazards,
associated risks, and updates about the project or the specific tasks involved.
It is done before the team commences work, and covers methods, plans, location,
and individual roles of each employee. Toolbox talks are commonly used in
high-risk industries such as construction, mining, manufacturing, and
more. 

Why is a Toolbox talk
important?

Based on the ABC 2017
Safety Performance Report, conducting regular toolbox talks reduces about 64%
in total recordable incidents. It is evident that having regular updates is an
effective way to refresh employee’s knowledge and ensure that safety protocols
are in place. 

The main purpose of
having a toolbox talk is to keep employees safe. It helps avoid unnecessary
incidents by keeping employees looped in regarding safety issues, project
updates, and mechanical defects. It promotes employee awareness and familiarity
with their workstations and equipment, which makes them comfortable in
performing their tasks. 

A toolbox talk helps
maintain open communication between leaders and employees. Employees are encouraged
to raise any work-related concerns during a toolbox talk meeting so that
possible action plans and solutions can be proposed and discussed. A toolbox
talk is one of the avenues where both employees and leadership teams can share
information about new and existing hazards, preventive tools, and employee
experiences. 

Ensuring employee
participation during toolbox talk meetings helps ensure that they get an
in-depth understanding of the organization’s safety protocols, which will help
them in integrating these into their daily tasks and processes. This also helps
employees identify and prepare for potential risks associated with the project.
It is crucial that employees recognize and comply with safety rules to prevent
avoidable incidents.

Toolbox talks can be
conducted for a smaller group of employees so that individual roles can be
fully evaluated. It helps identify employees who need guidance and extra
training. Toolbox talks are designed to focus on relevant topics for day-to-day activities. As an example, if your team needs to change
the roofing of a building. Toolbox talk topics should be about working at
heights and all appropriate safety measures in place should be discussed. This includes
PPE, fall protection equipment, and fall hazards. 

Recorded toolbox talks
can help ensure everything is discussed and understood by employees before they
proceed with their regular tasks. It serves as an updated record of hazards and
completed topics. Implementing regular toolbox talk meetings helps maintain a
safe environment for employees. It also plays a major role in keeping employees
productive, efficient, and competent in their roles. 

Biography

Jona Tarlengco is a
content writer for SafetyCulture, a software company that enables businesses to
perform inspections using digital checklists.

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