Toolbox talks for your workplace

Toolbox talks for your workplace


  • Date: Monday 29th March 2021
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Toolbox talks allow you and your workers to explore the risks of specific health and safety issues in your workplace and think about ways to deal with them. Toolbox talks should focus on a single topic relevant to your risk profiling and be held regularly for the greatest impact. These talks are not exclusive to construction and can be used to great effect through all industry.

Developing a toolbox talk

While developing toolbox talks use every resource possible, remembering that most subject matter material is available free of charge on the UK Gov HSE webpages and SSG. Look to make it brief and to the point covering all salient detail of the subject you have chosen. If your talk is on the safe use of tools, equipment or PPE look to have the items available and let the workers see them or even get their hands on them.

How should I deliver toolbox talks?

If possible, conduct the talk with smaller groups as with a larger audience the message can sometimes get lost.

Explain why you are having a toolbox talk in a way that will help your workers relate to the topic you want to cover. Prepare what you are going to talk about and any materials that you are going to use.

How can I communicate effectively?

  • First impressions count - show enthusiasm and deliver a clear message about the importance of health and safety standards in your workplace.
  • Know your audience – consider diversity and think carefully about how to get your message across as in some circumstances you may need an interpreter. Keep it simple and be consistent with your messages! Use short, straightforward, simple words and phrases. Avoid slang words or jargon. Demonstrate respect and importantly listen to what your workers have to say.
  • Think about the tone of your voice - workers are more likely to listen if you vary the tone of your voice. Think about the pace of your delivery. It’s natural to rush if you are nervous.
  • Before you finish ask your listeners to run through their understanding of what you have said. Some people may need more explanation than others. Keep it positive! Focus on what workers can do to create a healthy and safe working environment instead of what can go wrong.

(Source: HSE Guidance)

Finally, keep a record of the toolbox talk content, time and date, and audience.

Don’t forget, toolbox talks are included as part of your ADVISOR Membership with SSG. You can view your latest toolbox talk video by visiting SSG Online here. We have also recently added bespoke toolbox talk services enabling you to request toolbox talk videos on topics of your choice, which can be tailored to your company and your needs. To find out more about our bespoke toolbox talk video packages or to receive a tailored proposal, contact your Membership Advisor.

Source: Article by Terry Burdon


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