A toolbox talk is a short health and safety talk covering a particular safety topic or subject. What is the meaning of a toolbox talk can perhaps best be answered by asking, why do we give toolbox talks, and what do they hope to achieve?
Toolbox talks come under many names, safety briefings, safety meetings, safety minutes, safety moments.
When we are talking about toolbox talks we could mean any of these terms. Essentially, we are talking here about a 5 – 10 minute health and safety refresher, on a relevant topic, to help keep knowledge refreshed and up to date.
Primarily, a toolbox talk is a way of providing health and safety instruction and information to the workforce.
Toolbox talks mean quick, relevant information. It shouldn’t go on for hours, and it’s not about cramming as much information into the talk as possible either.
Toolbox talks are a fundamental part of any health and safety management system. Not only for delivering health and safety information, but also for keeping that information refreshed and up to date.
Some toolbox talks may have been covered in other training courses.
You may have had training on a particular subject in the past, but is that knowledge up to date, and how much do you really remember?
Some forms of health and safety training only need to be refreshed every 3 years. Sometimes, I struggle to remember things I read about last week let alone 2 – 3 years ago. A toolbox talk is designed to remind, refresh and retain this knowledge.
By giving regular toolbox talks, the aim is to create a positive health and safety culture.
Starting each day with a short health and safety reminder on a relevant subject is a great way to keep health and safety at the front of the mind. This is likely to achieve better compliance with rules and best practice, and in turn, reduced accident rates and ill health.
This means reduced costs, increased productivity and helps towards creating a safe working environment, and a healthy and happy workforce.