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Three Easy Steps to Effective Toolbox Talks

June 13, 2022

In high-risk industries like construction, toolbox talks can have a significant impact on workplace safety; and ROII sends weekly emails to participants with suggested topics each week. It’s a service to help our participants be as successful and safe as possible.

But, let’s face it, often the people assigned to give workplace safety and toolbox talks in the residential construction industry have little experience leading training like this. And, not everyone likes public speaking.

Three steps for effective workplace safety toolbox talks

Presenting workplace safety meetings and toolbox talks to employees doesn’t need to be a daunting task, but it is required by law that you take the time for these. Let’s make sure your workforce gets the benefits by following these effective steps:

1.    Know your subject: Keep it short, on point and relevant to the worksite

You can’t just read from a script while everyone signs in and expect to hold people’s attention or accomplish your purpose. When you do this, you signal to employees that workplace safety is not a company priority.

Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the subject and identify a few examples to make it relatable to your jobsite. On-site toolbox talks do not have to be long and drawn out. Being enthusiastic about the subject, providing examples and staying on-point will help hold everyone’s attention.

2.     Keep it simple

Present the subject in a clear and simple way. Avoid information overload, and don’t try to rush through lots of information. Simplify technical language, keep it short and make sure to consider work experience, education level and language barriers.

3.     Engage and involve

Look at your audience when you speak, make eye contact and speak loud enough for everyone to hear and feel engaged. Employees who feel “lost in the crowd” will hit cruise control and check out. Ask questions and request feedback. Make sure they know their feedback is valued and important. Show attendees you are interested in their thoughts and opinions.

If employees know you will be asking questions to make sure everyone understands, they are more likely to stay focused and take away something useful from the conversation. After all, one good workplace safety talk could be the difference between life and death.

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