Safety toolbox talks are less formal and shorter than safety meetings and training sessions, and they are designed to reinforce safety training and information on a particular topic. Without constant reminders about safety, employees tend to forget, get sloppy, take risks, and have accidents. But running safety talks time after time can lose some of the spark as an effective training tool. Many times, the safety talks miss the mark, and safety training is forgotten as soon as the talk is over.
How can we avoid safety talks that don't work? What can we do to get the most effective worker learning for the time, energy, and dollars spent in safety training?
There are some basic steps you can follow to give an effective safety talk:
- Focus on one subject per talk. A safety talk that rambles or loses focus by discussing several different subjects will not hold your employees’ attention.
- Choose a subject that involves as many people as possible, and confine the presentation and suggestions to that single topic. It is more effective to teach people how to handle a single problem at a time so they can eliminate that one hazard.
- Avoid such general statements as “Do better with your housekeeping.” A safety talk needs to tell employees exactly what to do. For instance, say “You need to make sure the aisles are clear of maintenance equipment,” or “Clean up spills as soon as they happen.”
- If you discuss the same general topic on a regular basis—housekeeping, for example—pin down the subject for each safety talk to specifics, such as the danger of discarding sharp items in wastebaskets, or the unsafe use of electrical cords and extensions.
- Always include time for attendees to ask questions.
Toolbox talks are a great refresher, and keep your employees abreast of changes in regulations, safety procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and job assignments and responsibilities. Refresher training is required by law on some topics, in which case planned safety talks are a convenient way to go over required training.
Safety.BLR.com has practical compliance analysis and hundreds of toolbox talks, as well as other training resources in several time-saving formats:
- Confined Spaces toolbox talk
- Electrical Safety talk
- Hazard Communication Safety talk
- Audio safety talks
- Training tracker forms
- Refresher training outlines
- Training checklists
Our knowledgeable editors continually add new safety talk topics. If you need a safety compliance solution, BLR has it!
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