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Follow these 7 rules to select a toolbox talk topic

by , 11 June 2013
It's not always easy to identify hazards and risks in your company and take the corrective measures to protect the health and safety of your employees. You must also inform, provide instructions and train your employees on these hazards and risks they're faced with.

To make your job easier, I recommend you implement Toolbox Talks.
Toolbox Talks is an effective way to comply with your legal obligations and show the Department of Labour (DoL) you're doing all you can to meet your legal requirements. And if the DoL is happy, it means no fines or jail time for you!


Create a culture of health and safety in your workplace in under 15 minutes…

Using Toolbox Talks Kit: All the health and safety training you'll ever need on ONE CD.

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Why toolbox talks are so effective

Toolbox talks are short, targeted training sessions to train your employees on the hazards and risks they will be exposed to in whatever work they are about to do. For example, how to safely lockout a machine or the importance of washing hands before eating.
Use toolbox talks to train your employees to recognise and avoid unsafe conditions as part of company profitability and professional development.

3 Reasons to start toolbox talks today
  1. Use toolbox talks to educate your employees about all aspects of the industry they work in, so they can identify problems with their work sites.
  2. Use the talks to teach your employees to correct or report safety hazards so you and your employees can take actions to correct it. Encourage your employees to use common sense. For example, if a hazard is obviously immediately life threatening, employees must evacuate the area or take steps to correct it, rather than going through the safety officer.
  3. Employees will learn to avoid potentially hazardous situations included in your toolbox talks. For example, not wearing eye protection when welding can cause serious damage to employees' eyes.

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Follow these 7 rules to select a toolbox talk topic
  1. Stick to topics about safety problems you're worried about now or that you anticipate in upcoming jobs;
  2. If your employees are going to perform a hazardous activity that specific day, discuss that activity's precautionary measures and safety concerns, before they start working;
  3. Failure on your part to select an appropriate topic to present will result in uninterested workers, a waste of time and a loss of creditability on the part of company management;
  4. Observe job-safety techniques. Focus on what's important (and mandatory);
  5. Listen to and follow up on your company's safety committee and employee recommendations;
  6. Identify poor work practices causing injuries or accidents on the job; and
  7. Plan your schedule out for a month so you have time to research the topics and modify your company policy accordingly.
Check out the Health and Safety Advisor  to get your toolbox talk templates. As a subscriber, you'll have access to various toolbox talk topics.

P.S. Do you have all 29 essential health and safety inspection checklists? Get them here


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