Toolbox Talks before a shift.

Toolbox Talks Topics

Daily toolbox talks are effective in raising and maintaining risk awareness, which in turn is one of the most effective risk management and loss prevention tools.

Toolbox talks focus on methods for identifying, assessing, eliminating or managing workplace risks. Every session offers many opportunities for two way communication, and management system improvements.

Geochem, for example, has implemented a weekly toolbox talk on safety and housekeeping. Employees are encouraged to provide safety suggestions and are made aware of benefits of working in a clean and orderly environment.

Incidents are discussed with employees and people involved share experience with colleagues. First hand sharing offers several advantages, said Jiba Ngcobo of Geochem in a Chemicals and Allied Industries Association circular.

Toolbox talks aim to involve staff in taking personal responsibility for their sheq, and care for one another by taking action against unsafe conditions and acts.

Safety awareness and housekeeping have significantly improved after weekly departmental audits. Factory floors and yards are notably cleaner and neater.

Geochem recommends that chemical companies consider implementing similar Toolbox Talks and weekly audits, since these have contributed positively towards the organisation’s safety culture and employee involvement in safety improvements.

SA Mint in Midrand also use toolbox talks sessions to raise risk awareness, update risk profiles, share sheq improvements among different departments, and build a culture of risk management and brother’s keepers.

Toolbox Talk topics options

  • Compressed air
  • Conveyor belts
  • Cranes
  • Customer complaint response
  • Drains
  • Dust
  • Electricity
  • Emergency plan and response
  • Ergonomics of sitting, lifting
  • Injury response procedures
  • Falling objects
  • First aid
  • Flammable and combustible liquids and gases
  • Fumes
  • Hand tools
  • Hazard identification
  • Health habits against stress
  • Horseplay is senseless
  • Hot work, welding, grinding, permits
  • Housekeeping on the job
  • Illumination by day and night
  • Incident prevention
  • Incident response and reporting
  • Induction training update
  • Job training
  • Ladder use
  • Lockout procedures
  • Machine guarding
  • Maintenance of equipment, plant, tools
  • Moving equipment
  • New equipment
  • New sites
  • Off the job culture
  • Office hazards
  • Permit systems
  • Policy
  • PPE head, eye, ear, hand, foot protection
  • Procedures versus shortcuts
  • Process safety
  • Records, documents, quality
  • Resources and research
  • Risk assessment
  • Sharps, edges and openings
  • SHEQ committee processes
  • Slips, trips and falls, STFs
  • Substance abuse
  • Teamwork
  • Traffic
  • Warehousing, stacking

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