Toolbox Talks – The Importance of Education is a very important part of life on any construction project in the UK. They provide an excellent opportunity to ensure that your workforce is participating and engaging in Health and Safety topics. It is their opportunity to discuss the hazards and dangers that are inherent in most construction activities.

Companies should ensure that regular Toolbox Talks are given to their operatives, at least once a month. It is a good idea to make these Toolbox Talks relevant to the task at hand or geared towards a planned activity. Most Toolbox Talks are very generic, furthermore, you should try to make them site specific and interesting. The idea is to engage and educate your workforce and help them to understand that everyone is reliant on people have a greater understanding of the issues surrounding the huge subject of Health and Safety. These should be given in addition to the companies Site Induction.

  1. Toolbox Talks – The Importance of Education

There are literally 100`s of related topics. In which, the main thing is to choose topics that are relative to your work. Having said, having a good awareness of the hazards and dangers of other operations is always a good idea. We all have to understand the working of every part of a project. This is just a list of examples you may come across.

  • Abrasive Wheels Portable Hand Held
  • Confined Spaces
  • Cartridge Operated Tools
  • Ladders
  • First Aid and Accident Reporting
  • Vibration White Finger
  • Working at Height
  • Exclusion Zones 

2. The Audience

The most effective audience size should be about 10 people in most situations. This is a good size for topics that are mostly confined to a specific task.
Some topics will have the potential to affect the entire workforce. These topics should be presented in a very professional and informative way. Participation is a great way to engage all those concerned.

3. The Best Approach

Get your audience to participate using a questioning approach. You are not there to be lectured, you are there to learn and feel as if you are part of the companies approach to all issues surrounding Health, Safety and the environment. The idea is to listen carefully to any responses from your audience and encourage them to participate. It is the operatives that will be carrying out the task, they will be exposed to the hazard.

4. Ask Your Audience Questions about the Toolbox Talk

  • Are you fit to carry out the task?
  • What are the hazards/dangers of the task?
  • Are you qualified/competent to carry out the task?

Giving Toolbox Talks to a large audience can be daunting, Try to have a good understanding of the topic and try to refrain from just reading from notes. Many large projects will have a meeting room that will have access to deliver Site Inductions, these rooms will often have the ability to present Toolbox Talks using a projector and a slide show. As a result, it provides a much better and effective platform, in which you can utilise the power of video and animation.

The Future

In the very near future, companies will have the ability to present Toolbox Talks and Site Inductions using technology such as Virtual Reality. These will introduce a greater level of interaction and will increase the attention span of the audience. Many companies will produce these type of Health & Safety Inductions. I have written an article on this subject and can be found HERE

If you have any questions on this subject, then add a comment and I will try to assist.