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Top Ten Toolbox Talk Tips

March 30, 2021
Julie Chandler
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Toolbox Talks are powerful in building a positive health and safety culture on your worksite. The short safety meetings raise awareness of a particular aspect of work - keeping the workers alert and their knowledge refreshed right before starting the task. 

They offer training, guidance and an open line of communication for workers to ask questions and for supervisors to gauge whether or not workers understand the task, before getting to work. All of which is essential to avoiding injuries to fatalities. The impact that a Toolbox Talk can have on your workforce and their safety is often underestimated...

if done right

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare

Know the message you want to communicate. Set out your points which follow the key message. Ensure that none of the important facts are left out. 

  • Keep it brief

Time is money! No one wants a complicated Toolbox Talk, which only leaves your workers feeling overwhelmed. Where possible, keep it under 15 minutes long. 

  • Present it well

Be confident, make eye contact and have your visuals at hand. 

  • Tell a story, not just a statistic

Research shows learning through a story is more effective and it leaves a bigger impact than simply regurgitating facts and figures. 

  • Know your audience

Talk directly to your audience. Use their language – understand their points of interest to hook them in and engage them. Make use of a translator, if necessary.

  • Engage them

Make it relatable. The minute your workers switch off – you have lost them. 

One of the best ways to engage with anyone is by using visuals. Keep text to the minimum and instead use powerful illustrations that help remind workers while on the job. 

  • Make positive statements

Be enthusiastic about the task at hand. Set a vision for the workers to be safe and then work from there. Communicate what the benefits of doing a job well are to your workers, while ensuring everyone’s safety as a priority. 

  • Simplify the Toolbox Talk 

Chatting about the bigger picture is always a good idea before getting into the necessary details.  

Leave the key messages to the visuals, they are the best aid in simplifying things. 

  • Leave them with something to take away 

Give them something to refer to once the toolbox talk is over. You often only have 10 minutes in your tight schedule. A handout is able to reinforce your message without taking more of your time. 

  • Allow time for questions

Do not assume that everyone got the message. Encourage questions to clear up any misunderstandings - two way communication is key. 

Great Toolbox Talks are an excellent opportunity to connect with workers. They make a real positive impact on the productivity and risk management on your work site. They are also a great motivational tool and boost morale. Follow these ten tips to make sure your talks are effective, valuable and let them contribute to improving the health and safety culture in your workplace. 

Related Jincom Solution:
Toolbox Talk

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