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Toolbox Talks: What are they and why do you need them?

by , 15 May 2015
When you ask people what they think of when they hear the term 'Toolbox Talks', most imagine a worker's toolbox, picking a tool from it, and then talking about it!

Although an entertaining thought, that's not what a Toolbox Talk is all about!

So what exactly are they and why do you need to have them...?

Read on to find out...

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What are Toolbox Talks?

A Toolbox Talk is a health and safety talk given to employees at your premises. Each Toolbox Talk is on a specific subject matter.

They should be run on a regular basis and run for 10-15 minutes. How often you conduct them depends on the size, nature and location of your site.

You might need to reinforce topics like 'The importance of wearing your PPE' more often than other topics such as 'HIV in the workplace'. As a rule of thumb, it's best to get into the habit of conducting weekly meetings at the least. Regardless of how often you have them, they should be short and to the point. And make sure you stick to your chosen topic, because the overall objective is to raise awareness of a particular aspect of work.

Now that you know what a Toolbox Talk is, let's see why you need to conduct them…

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Why you need to conduct Toolbox Talks

Conducting Toolbox Talks helps you:
•    Inform workers of changes to company safety procedures;
•    Identify new hazards and review existing hazards;
•    Develop/review your hazard controls;
•    Discuss/review your accident and incident data;
•    Encourage employee participation in safety activities;
•    Develop/review work processes; and
•    Record it as part of your safety training schedule.

Remember to record the details of your Toolbox Talks sessions, and keep the information on file. Record meeting dates, attendees and discussion items.

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