Posted on: April 8, 2009 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 6

Planning your Toolbox Talks are essential for effective Safety meetings.

In order to get the most from a Safety meeting, you need to think about five key issues:

  1. content,
  2. method,
  3. location,
  4. reinforcement,
  5. follow-up.

The best way is to think of each issue as a step in the process of producing successful Safety meetings.

You will find that you get the best results when you schedule Safety meetings early in a shift when employees are more alert and less likely to be in the middle of a crucial task. It would be best to avoid Mondays and Fridays if employees have the weekend off. Better yet, set a regular schedule, such as the first Tuesday of the month or every other Wednesday.

Inform everybody who needs to know. Send out reminders the day before, and confirm with all the employees you have contact with during the previous day.

Safety Toolbox Talk Content

For the best results, choose timely and pertinent toolbox talk content.

A Safety meeting is a good opportunity to discuss current Safety issues and challenges facing your department or work site. If there was an incident or a near miss, then this is the opportunity to discuss it.

Focus your meeting on the cause of the incident and the necessary corrective measures. Maybe you’ve noticed that some employees aren’t wearing required personal protective equipment (PPE) or perhaps you’ve seen some people taking shortcuts or fooling around.

Recent changes to Health and Safety legislation or regulations or the employer’s Health and Safety policies are also good topics for a meeting.

The biggest problem might be deciding which issue is most important right now. It might also be possible to address a couple of issues at every meeting. Don’t worry if you have only a few words to say about one topic. Just say what needs to be said and then move on to another subject.

Many people believe that it is better to keep to the “one topic per meeting” rule of thumb. It’s easier for employees to remember the information that way, and it also makes for a shorter, more focused meeting-and short, to-the-point meetings are always good.

So, it depends on the circumstances. Plan something that suits your circumstances.

In our next article we will look at the method, the second step towards better Safety Talks.


6 People reacted on this

  1. thank you for your info on safety talks i found it very insiteful it was excellent to read i am studying to become a safety officer and all the info on sheqblogs really does help me i have finally joined as well on the newsletters so that i can stay informed thanks so much for such a great site

  2. Hi there,

    What is the protocal or policy or whatever when a person goes through an ordeal like mine twice in the same building, with the same property management? I’m feeling compelled to resign and relocate. Nightmares and pain are controlling my life now. A lift falling twice with the same person in it on two different occasions managed by the same property management company and the same engineer??????? What’s my rights in all this?

  3. Hi Ben,

    I wanted to know if south african site do comply with regular toolbox talks on sites a health and safety act at work?

    thank you

  4. Hi Ben, my question is on construction site. do most construction sites in south africa comply with use of regular toolbox talks to address issues on safety of workers? Are they a requirement? are they monitored and audited by authorities. Thank you for your informative site.

  5. Hallo Nelly
    I dont think any statistics on the use of toolbox talks are available. The use of Toolbox Talks per se, is not a requirement, so I dont think that they are monitored by authorities.The employer however do have a responsibility to create awareness and Toolbox Talks are an excellent way in which to address that requirement.

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