What is a toolbox meeting
A toolbox meeting, or toolbox talk, is a short periodical consultation at work, intended to make everybody aware of the different safety aspects and dangers at the work sites to increase the safety in the workplace. Toolbox meetings are mandatory in many countries to obtain and maintain certain certificates.
The secret to having successful toolbox talks is found in discussing the work situations that directly impact the personal safety and health of the employees.
Never forget that a severe accident can cost an employee his health and his career, while it may cost the company millions in compensations.
A few tips for organizing effective toolbox meetings
The toolbox meetings will be organized by project leaders or site managers
This shows that they are also involved and that they value safety. If it was just the person who is responsible for the safety, the safety officer, who would organize it, it would soon be regarded as yet another boring required participation. The safety officer can give the necessary instructions to the project leaders.
Choose a current subject
Has there recently been an incident or has somebody been injured? Has there been anything on the news lately which concerned safety in the construction industry? Did we just start on the elevated construction? Then choose that subject, rather than something that is less current or immediate. You can find inspiration here for possible toolbox meeting subjects.
Draw up a schedule
Toolbox meetings are often scheduled on a monthly basis. Communicate the schedule at the start of the project with the parties involved so that everybody is aware of them and there are no excuses to not attend. The toolbox meetings are best held in the morning so the contents are retained better.
Keep it short and to the point
A good guideline for the duration of a toolbox meeting is 10 to 15 minutes. Anything longer than this tends to lead to loss of concentration and the main message may get lost.
Document the meeting
Document who was present, what was discussed and which agreements were reached. These minutes are required anyway when checked for compliance for certifications. If you work with ArchiSnapper, you can make a checklist for toolbox meetings so you can easily document the toolbox meeting in a report, immediately at the worksite.
Safety in the construction sector usually receives insufficient attention as long as there are no severe incidents. After a longer period of time without any incidents, the attention tends to fade, which increases the risk. Toolbox meetings are an ideal way (15 minutes per month per project) to bring the theme safety back into the limelight with all employees in order to create a safer worksite.