Toolbox Talks are quick and easy information sheets to facilitate safety discussions. Toolbox Talks cover a wide range of topics ranging from equipment operation safety to lifting basics. Toolbox Talks also help create an environment to discuss task specific or timely safety communications, identify problems or highlight specific safety concerns/risks.
Environmental Health and Safety has developed a series of discussion topics known as Toolbox Talks, to encourage safety throughout the university.
What is a Toolbox Talk?
A Toolbox Talk is an informal group discussion among department employees that focuses on a particular safety issue.
Who can conduct a Toolbox Talk?
Anyone can conduct a Toolbox Talk. However, it is best to select individuals who have expertise on the given topic.
How long and often should these be conducted?
EH&S recommends a 15 minute toolbox talk conducted on a monthly basis, or more frequent, if needed.
Where and when should these discussions take place?
The meeting should be held in a comfortable location at the beginning of a work day, after lunch/break, or incorporated into another meeting.
Do you have to use EH&S created Toolbox Talks?
No. The EH&S topics are there for assistance, but each group is free to conduct a talk on any safety issue that may be present in the work environment.
Do Toolbox Talks satisfy required safety training?
No. Toolbox Talks are a brief discussion of relevant safety issues but they do not replace formal safety training.
Other applications for Toolbox Talks can be used for post-accident communications, refreshers of safe work practices, pre-task planning and talking points for hands on training or tabletop exercises.
Source: Harvard Environmental Health and Safety.