Thursday, March 26, 2009

Guide to Safety Toolbox Talks

One of the fundamental rights of an employee is to be informed of the hazards and risk that he or she may be exposed to. The employer has a legal duty to provide a workplace that is safe and free from risk for the employee. Toolbox Talks is a great tool assist with these rights and duties.

Where and How Long:
  • Once a week (at least)
  • Before the start of a shift
  • No longer than 10-15 min.

Managing Toolbox Talks

  • Small Sites - all employees at point of meeting
  • Large Sites - split employees into smaller groups as divided under supervision


  • Specific to construction activities and related hazards
  • Incident recall - discuss incidents that occurred on the site
  • List of topics available in the MBA OHS Construction Manual


It is not just the Health and Safety Officer but also the site management's responsibility to ensure that all employees are informed on task specific risks on a regular basis. Toolbox Talks must be held in addition to general induction and specific task training.

Record Keeping

It is important to keep a record of all the topics and employees that attended the Toolbox Talks. This could be used as proof that the employer informed the employee of a certain risk or hazard.

Neels Nortje
Health and Safety Manager


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