| Written by Mark Buzinkay

Safety relies on training and standards. It is important to ensure effective training sessions, and one easy way to do it are toolbox talks.

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To increase awareness of workplace hazards and improve safe behaviour, toolbox talks are an easy way to keep safety front and center in their workers' minds. These short pre-written safety meetings are not intended to replace formal OSHA safety training but to supplement it.

Following a few simple rules when conducting a toolbox talk for your workers, toolbox talks are an effective channel to improve safety:

  • Prepare yourself: Read the toolbox talk to yourself a couple of times before you hold the actual meeting with workers.
  • Hold the talk in an area free of noise and other distractions.
  • Speak clearly and directly.
  • Use examples to educate and show your audience what you are talking about, best using a real object. For instance, have an unlabeled container you found on the job-site available when giving a toolbox talk on OSHA’s hazard communication standards about labeling requirements.
  • Always give opportunity to ask questions at the end of the toolbox talk.
  • Don't forget to document your toolbox talks. Even if certain standards do not require documentation of safety training, it is worth to record the information about the topic, the trainer, the date, and names of the workers on file.
  • Practice what you preach. Otherwise your credibility will vanish rapidly. Always set a good example for others.

toolbox talk example: Eye protection

Intro to get attention

It may be difficult getting used to eye protection, but have you tried getting used to a glass eye?

Educate

There are two kinds of foreign particles that can get in your eyes. Wind-carried material like sawdust and rust. Or high-speed objects like broken nails or flying chips of concrete.

To protect your eye from these objects, wear safety glasses, safety goggles, face shields and prescription glasses with safety lenses. Each has a different use depending on whatever conditions exist for your particular job site. It is very important to make sure that your eye wear fits correctly. Remember that proper ventilation and sprays can help reduce fogging.

Showcase
Find a few old pairs of goggles that have nicks and scratches on them. Point the marks out and tell that those are the places where chips would have gotten into their eyes - without eye protection.

Ask to start the talk:

  • What kind of jobs need eye protection?
  • Has anyone heard of a serious accident involving someone who wasn't wearing eye protection?

safety

Workplace and operational safety is one of IDENTEC SOLUTIONS' areas of expertise. Awareness & training reduce the risk of incidents and enable smooth and productive operations.