WHAT IS A TOOLBOX TALK?
A toolbox talk is a pre-job meeting conducted on a regular basis. They are typically held daily but depending on the scope of work, work location and other factors may be less frequent.
WHO FACILITATES TOOLBOX TALKS?
The majority of toolbox talks are conducted by a member of the supervision team (foreman, lead hand, etc.). Depending on the size of the organization, the meeting may also be conducted by someone designated by a management representative. It’s important that these meetings held by someone who is responsible for directing work to ensure that all required information is put forth to the workforce.
WHAT SHOULD THE FORMAT BE?
Toolbox talks should be relatively informal. While they’re still required to be documented and attendance taken, the tone of these meetings should be informal but direct. Workers should be encouraged to express concerns and ideas. If questions cannot be answered at the time of the meeting, an action item should be listed and followed-up. Failing to respond to questions or engage with your workforce will deteriorate morale.
WHAT TYPES OF THINGS SHOULD BE DISCUSSED AT THE TOOLBOX TALK?
These meetings are an opportunity to review the planned work for the day. The method of execution hazards and controls to be put into place are imperative to be reviewed. It’s also a time to verify appropriate training for the task and workers who are unsure may pose questions or gather additional information. Some organizations also choose to review additional items such as; inspection results, recent incidents, HSE bulletins, new polices/procedures, review work practices or other workplace information.
Ultimately your toolbox talk is your first and in some cases your last interaction with your workforce for the day. Always be sure to verify your workers are fit for the day’s work. Be clear in directing the work, provide appropriate instruction and ensure all hazards are controlled.