Best Practices for Running a Safety Toolbox Talk

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Toolbox Safety Talks are a great way to start off the work day. They keep safety front of mind and help remind construction workers of the hazards of not following proper safety precautions. An injury on the job could cost a company millions and an employee his or her career. Having a "safety first" mentality benefits all parties.

These meetings are usually informal, and can result in being more and more lax. Instead, keep some structure to these meetings to show everyone involved the importance of safety. We have highlighted our best practices for Toolbox Talks below. Leave a comment here if you have any great tips to add.

1. Always have the jobsite supervisor conduct the meeting - The safety director should train jobsite supervisors to conduct the meetings. This tells the workers that the supervisor cares about the job site safety.

2. Keep the topics timely - When choosing toolbox safety talk topics, choose topics that are of the moment. Did someone get a back injury on the job site recently? Do a safety talk on preventing back injuries. Are you going to need to build trenches? Do a safety talk on trench safety. If the topic chosen isn't relevant today, what's the point?

3. Choose a schedule - Instead of having Toolbox Safety Talks sporadically, choose a specific schedule, so workers know when to expect them and you can plan them to coincide with the work schedule. For example, F.E. Moran has Toolbox Safety Talks monthly and the information is available on their Intranet 24/7 for anyone who wants extra materials.

4. Keep them short n' sweet - The general rule of thumb for Safety Toolbox Talks is 10-15 minutes. Provide handouts to give extra information and further study options.

5. Document attendees - Toolbox Safety Talk attendee lists should always be documented. They prove to OSHA that you delivered the required training under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

Toolbox Safety Talks are a great way to gather employees together for an honest talk about safety hazards and ways to prevent them. It shows workers that their employer cares about their safety, while also keeping safety front of mind at job sites. By following the best practices for Safety Toolbox Talks, you can help keep your employees safe.