Toolbox talks?

  • 5 February 2023
  • 7 replies

New to my industry, and I keep hearing toolbox talks. What are they and why are they important?

This topic has been closed for comments

7 replies

Badge +3

Hi @Jason Wilson ,

I think it is just a matter of branding. Everyone refers to these things by different names. In our organisation, a Toolbox Talk is a short piece of safety focused training - just a few minutes long. Historically this was delivered by a supervisor in person at the start of the work day. We have now gone digital with this to ensure even wider visibility of this content, better data capture and improved quality of learning and retention. We have found people absorb the main points better from a 2 minute video than from having a supervisor reading at them with no visual aids.

What you call a Toolbox Talk, we call a Pre-Work Briefing - I have seen some call it a Huddle. I guess it is just whatever term makes sense for your company and culture.

Badge +1

@Ben Edwards - understood.  I will look into Vyond as we use Heads Up for other applications (primarily Quick Share videos after an incident).

However, our Toolbox Talks seem different from what you are suggesting.  Our intent is that the discussion is very focused on the immediate work to be undertaken.  We don’t want a Toolbox Talk at the beginning of a shift that covers the next 12 hours of work.  Instead, we want the team to discuss the next phase of work (only) and to highlight the specific task steps, roles, hazards, etc. present at that time.

Badge +3

Adding to what @Tiffany_cee said,

HeadsUp has been great for us as we have rolled out a series of Tool Box Talk style briefings from the Exec. This really shows front line staff that everyone takes these matters seriously and we have real commitment from the top. Users can even ask questions or comment and get a response from the CEO.

If you are considering rolling out tool box talk videos and dont have the in house expertise to film/edit etc, then Vyond is a great tool you can get to grips with very quickly. It will let you make engaging safety videos about key topics. It a bit better than a Supervisor half-heartedly reading out a briefing from a sheet of paper about a topic they dont fully understand. We have a library of dozens of short videos we rotate through during the year - hazards of winter working, hazards of sun exposure etc we also supplement these with safety alerts following major incidents and lessons learned from investigations.

Badge +1

We have used Toolbox Talks for many years prior to work commencing to ensure that personnel understand the task and the associated hazards, risks and controls.  The format is as follows:

  • Conduct a briefing with all personnel directly involved in the task.
  • Confirm the work plan and steps to the next hold point (i.e. planned stop / check during repetitive work or a transition from one phase of work to another).
  • Confirm specific roles and responsibilities for team members.
  • Consider lessons learned since the last hold point.
  • Complete an on-site / on-day risk assessment including work being conducted in adjacent areas.
Userlevel 1

Heads Up is a great solution for managing your toolbox talks because you can utilise free seats on Premium.

You can add videos as well as images and .pdf documents. I used to use NAPO safety videos in mine because they have no specific language and are free to download. They are also very reputable because they are written by authoritative bodies across Europe. 

You can also obtain acknowledgements from the people you have assigned the communication to and they can write comments about your posting too.

It’s a great feature on the SC Platform 😊


What @The droids you're looking for said, but also toolbox talks should be short, informal meetings where workers discuss specific safety topics. Here are some topics that could be covered in a safety toolbox talk:

  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  2. Hazard identification and reporting
  3. Ladder safety
  4. Forklift safety
  5. Fire safety
  6. Electrical safety
  7. Confined space safety
  8. Hand and power tool safety
  9. Fall protection
  10. Excavation and trench safety
Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Hi @Macy! This is just from searching online btw:

The goal of toolbox talks is to increase safety awareness, reinforce safe work practices, and encourage workers to report any unsafe conditions or behaviors.