CNB Safe

Toolbox Talks Topics

Toolbox talks are a brilliant way to share important safety and workplace information. A toolbox talk is usually a quick informal chat amongst employees and management to share any updates to the workplace or a safety focus that may be relevant to employees.

There is a never ending supply of toolbox talk topics you can choose from. A great way of looking at toolbox talk topics is to allocate one every week and put a schedule in place for 52 toolbox talk topics.This way you can plan and make the toolbox talk topics really informative and interactive so that your team will engage with them.

The right information for a toolbox talk topic can be much more effective than pages and pages of written safety messages or workplace updates. Managers can tailor a toolbox talk topic to have a specific focus, it might be about a particular safety topic or an update to a procedure or a system.


group of workers listening to toolbox talk

What should a Toolbox Talk look like?

A toolbox talk should be short and informative and preferably delivered with enthusiasm and energy. I have also been present when a toolbox talk topic has been quite humorous, I find this works even better if they can have a laugh and remember the information contained in the toolbox talk.

An effective toolbox talk should start by clearly explaining the purpose of the meeting. The information delivered must be relevant to the workplace and delivered in a manner that all people present can understand. I have also witnessed a toolbox talk topic that was delivered by a senior manager who used words and phrases that were long winded and convoluted and most of the attendees did not understand what he was trying to explain.

Similarly a toolbox talk is more effective if it is delivered by someone who actually understands the tasks or the information they are delivering. I have seen a toolbox talk by a safety advisor who had only been on the job for a week and clearly had no idea what she was talking about but just reading from her notes.


Good toolbox talk topics should also be interactive

Allow time for questions both during the toolbox talk and after. It is much easier for people to remember the information if there is discussion and questions and answers.

If necessary you may want to give attendees written notes with information that is spoken about during the Toolbox talk topic. This helps for those who don’t quite get all of the information at the toolbox talk but can refer to the notes at a later stage.


The location for a toolbox talk topic is very important

No one will listen to what you are saying if they are shivering cold or sweating in the heat. Most toolbox talks are held in a lunchroom, training room or a common area that can be quite comfortable.

Another good practise I have seen is to ask different employees to deliver the toolbox talk topic, this works well in smaller workplaces (less than fifty employees) as everyone knows that they will have to do a toolbox talk at some stage during the year. (Assuming weekly toolbox talks)

Toolbox talks can also be used to convey social messages, someone’s birthday or important date. And can update people on the welfare of workmates that are sick, injured or changes to the business. Run a regular toolbox talk topic, a great way to share.


Top 5 Toolbox Talk Topics

So as I have mentioned there are some toolbox talk topics that are exciting and interesting and some that are down right boring but have to be covered.

Here are 5 Toolbox Talk Topics that I will be writing about over the coming weeks…

1. Fatigue

2. Accident Reporting

3. Complacency

4. Eye Protection/Safety Glasses

5. Drugs & Alcohol


About the writer:

James Wood, the Founder of CNBSafe, understands the consequences of not following workplace safety procedures. While performing a simple task at work James made some poor choices and suffered a workplace injury that broke his back and severely injured his spinal cord. Now confined to a wheelchair, James began CNBSafe, to provide safety presentations such as Toolbox Talks for employers.


James Wood giving toolbox talk

CNBSafe offers a host of safety information via workplace seminars, keynote speakers, safety DVD’s and personal toolbox talks. Toolbox talks can be geared around proper safety equipment, the impact or reason for a specific injury or incident and the impact of making the wrong choices at work. Our toolbox talks are like no other, with first-hand recounts of workplace accidents and injuries. Let CNBSafe remind you that ‘Safety is a choice YOU make.’

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