Title Page

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TBT Topic

  • TBT Topic

  • Accident Prevention:
    Make some time to go back to the basics of preventing accidents on site. This talk could cover off a refresher on how to identify hazards in the workplace and your processes around task analysis/Safe Work Method Statement.

  • Accident Reporting:
    According to OSHA half of workplace injuries go unreported. It is a requirement in most countries that all workplaces report accidents. Let your team know when and how they should be reporting accidents in a workplace, be it in person, via a form or an app.

  • Air Quality:
    Construction, demolition, and renovation projects can introduce many contaminants into the air we breathe. Review what work will be taking place today that could pose a risk to workers and the surrounding community. What controls can be used to reduce risks?

    Hint: PPE, physical barriers, water misters.

  • Alcohol Consumption:
    Of course, alcohol consumption at work is not going to be allowed in workplaces, but this toolbox talk still has its uses. Remind people that what they do outside of work can also affect them. Alcohol can be in a person's system for a long time and last night's party could affect their performance today.

    A great time to do this talk is before a team member's birthday or around the holiday period.

  • Angle Grinder Safety:
    Grinding disks and wheels are common on many worksites. Some of the risks posed by these tools include:

    1- Eye injuries from spent fragments
    2- Burst disks
    3- Injuries from coming into contact with a wheel
    4- Entanglement
    5- Dust
    6- Noise exposure
    7- Kickback
    Covering off how to mitigate the above points would form the basis of a good toolbox talk.

  • Asbestos:
    This will be an issue on any worksite that has an existing structure that was built prior to 1990. The dust is incredibly toxic. A talk on asbestos will include the risks posed, how to identify asbestos, what to do in the event that asbestos is discovered at your place of work, and appropriate PPE.

  • Bug and Insect Protection:
    They may be small, but depending on where you are working these little critters can be a bi hazard. Insects like wasps and poisonous spiders can be found in our workplaces. Not only can they directly cause us harm, but they can also distract us from the task at hand. Talk about what to do if a nest is found and have a conversation about repellents.

  • Building Shaft and Open Holes:
    Unguarded floor openings or building shafts are a major hazard in the workplace. Review controls to help accidents occurring like. These may include physical barriers, signage, and covers.

  • Combustible materials:
    Combustible materials are always present on many worksites. Reviewing the solids, liquids, and gases that could be hazardous to your site's safety can help prevent unfortunate accidents from happening. It is important to review what material might ignite them (solids, liquids, gasses) as well as potential ignition sources then establish safe handling procedures so they don't become dangerous fires.

  • Confined Space:
    Confined workspaces are especially dangerous due to limited access and they have poor ventilation. The words "confined space" sounds small, but they could be big. Examples include tanks, access shafts, utility vaults, sewers, pipes, truck or rail tank cars, boilers, manholes, silos, and storage bins. This is a must-do topic if people are working in confined spaces at your site.

  • Control of Hazardous Substances
    Make your team aware of possible hazardous substances on site. Make them aware of the legal obligations around working with hazardous materials including signage and reporting.

  • Cost of Accidents
    Every day, accidents cost lives and have a massive financial impact on not only the business but also the people involved. Accidents result in missed work hours which can lead to lost wages or even job loss for workers if they're unable to continue working at their current position due to injury. This is just one of many reasons why it's important that everyone takes steps towards preventing these incidents from happening again - talk about what we all stand to gain by taking preventative measures now!

  • Dangerous Occurrences/Notifiable Events
    Review what type of incident may be considered a notifiable event that needs to be reported to authorities in your jurisdiction. You should take the time to talk about what happens on the work site if an event like this occurs. Also, cover the reporting process.

  • Defensive Driving
    For some of us, the most dangerous thing we do every day is the drive to and from work. For others, driving is simply part of the job. Take the time to talk about defensive driving to, from, and at work.

  • Demolition
    Demolition work is one of the most dangerous construction site activities, with risks from collapse, falls, and hazardous materials. It's important to make sure that this topic is covered before demolition work can be carried out no matter how small.

  • Diabetes
    Diabetes is a disease where your body cannot control its blood sugar levels properly – either because your body doesn't make enough (or any) insulin, or because the cells have become resistant to it. If someone on-site suffers from diabetes you should know how to help them. In this talk, cover off how to respond to a diabetic emergency.

  • Display Screen Equipment
    DSE has become a staple in many workplaces, but if they're not used correctly, there is the chance that workers may experience neck or shoulder pain. This can lead to fatigue and eyestrain as well as other symptoms like arm discomfort. Have a chat about correct usage and taking breaks.

  • Disposable Respirators and COVID-19
    Due to the covid 19 epidemic wearing, face masks are now common practice. Talk about then need to wear masks, how to wear them correctly, and how to dispose of them correctly.

  • Distracted Driving
    Driving can be a deadly task when drivers are not paying attention to the road or on-site. These dangers become even bigger risks for distracted drivers, causing them to fail at driving defensively and putting themselves in danger of being involved in an accident. Start a conversation about what people think common distractions are. E.g Phones - Leave your phone alone until you reach your destination!

  • Drugs at Work
    You are more likely to have an accident at work when under the influence of drugs. This is true for both illegal and prescribed drugs, even common over-the-counter cold medicines can cause drowsiness - which lowers alertness and increases reaction time. Bring this topic up at your next safety meeting

  • Dust
    Dust can be hazardous and harmful for workers through breathing it into the lungs, swallowing it, eye contact, and skin contact. Dust also causes low visibility in many work environments. Talk about appropriate PPE and strategies to minimize dust on the worksite.

  • Earthquakes
    There is a risk of earthquakes in many countries. Make all staff aware of the correct procedures to follow in the event of an earthquake. e.g taking shelter in a brace position.

  • Electrical Safety
    Why Run an Electricity Safety Toolbox Talk?
    Helps to prevent unnecessary injuries occurring in the workplace due to exposure to electricity.
    Makes sure staff understand safety regulations and standards.
    Makes sure companies/management understand safety regulations and standards.
    Fewer injuries mean higher productivity in the workplace.
    The 4 Main Types of Electrical Injuries
    Four main types of electrical injuries can occur due to electricity. In this talk, we will go over each type of injury and then give you tips for how to prevent them.

    1) Electricity Can Cause Burns
    The first major injury caused by electricity is burns. Burns are caused when your body comes into contact with the electrical source, thermal burns from electricity, and, in some cases, when electrical sparks start fires. To prevent any of these scenarios from happening, you need to avoid any contact with live electricity. Here are some good tips:

    Make sure all extension and power cords are in good condition before using them. If they are damaged, throw them out or consult your supervisor.
    Only qualified electricians should work with exposed wires.
    Any high-voltage equipment or areas of a worksite must be clearly marked.
    Be extra careful when water is close to electricity.
    When working with electricity, ensure you wear the correct PPE.
    Don’t come into contact with anyone who is in contact with an electrical current.
    2) Can Cause Electric Shocks
    The next type of electrical injury is an electric shock which occurs when you come into contact with an electrical energy source. When you get an electric shock, it can burn you and give you anything from a mild jolt to more serious jolts that in some cases can be life-threatening. Electric shocks most commonly occur when working with faulty electrical tools and machinery as well as coming into contact with faulty power cords.

    To avoid electric shocks, it’s important to:

    Make sure when using electronic tools and machinery that they are in perfect working order. Pay special attention to ensure there are no exposed wires due to cracked insulation.
    When working with electricity, ensure you wear the correct PPE.
    It’s also important to ensure you don’t use electrical tools and equipment close to water.
    3) Can Cause Electrocution
    The next cause is electrocution. This is more severe than an electric shock as electrocution is when the electrical current is so strong that it can enter your body, causing your heart to stop and/or serious injuries or even death. To avoid this, you need to make sure that:

    Be very careful when working around overhead and other power lines as any contact at all can cause electrocution.
    When working with electricity, ensure you wear the correct PPE.
    Only qualified electricians should work with wiring and carry out jobs involving open electricity. They need to ensure that they use the correct fuses, circuit breakers, and wiring when they are carrying out installations and repairs.
    If there is any risk at all in coming into contact with electricity, STOP what you are doing and consult a supervisor.
    4) Electricity Can Cause Falls
    The final major cause of injury due to electrical issues is when people fall due to electric shock when working at height. For example, if you are up a ladder working on something, and you get an electric shock, you can lose your balance and fall, which turns a minor shock into a serious workplace injury. To avoid this happening, make sure that you:

    Pay close attention to your work when working up high and close to electrical hazards. Before commencing work, try to find a safer way to do the job.
    Before you use a tool when high up, make sure that it is in perfect working condition.
    Ensure you are using the safest ladder or scaffolding for the job.
    Key Takeaways
    If possible, avoid working with or around electrical hazards.
    Wear the correct PPE when working with or around electricity—such as electrical gloves or specialty footwear.
    Make sure extension cords and power strips you are working with or around are in good condition and safely out of the way when working.
    Take your time when working with power tools.
    Ensure you handle electric tools correctly, and then safely store them when not in use.
    Never touch someone who has been exposed to electricity.
    Electrical work should only be completed by people who have the appropriate training, certification and experience.

  • Emergency Preparedness - Pandemic
    Pandemics have the potential to lead to high levels of illness, death, social disruption, and economic loss. They also happen once every 10 years. In the event of a pandemic, businesses have the opportunity to play a key role in protecting their employees’ health and safety, and that of their customers/clients. Talk about transmission reduction and contact tracing

  • Equipment, Machine and Tool Guards
    One of the major causes of accidents occurring on worksites is the misuse of machinery. Moving machine parts can cause severe injuries such as crushed body parts, burns, blindness, and cuts. This is why most dangerous machinery has built-in or attached safety guards.

    In this housekeeping toolbox talk, we will discuss the different types of safety guards, the purpose of the guards, and we’ll finish by discussing some good safety tips when working with dangerous machinery.

    Why Run a Machine Guarding Toolbox Talk?
    Helps us all to be more aware of hazards when working with machinery
    Understand which machine guards to use and when
    Gives us all some good tips for how to minimize workplace accidents
    Ensures we all know our responsibilities to maintain a safe workplace (including management)
    Safety improves productivity
    4 Types of Machine Guards
    There are four types of machine guards that you should be aware of and know the difference between.

    Fixed Guard. This is a permanently fixed guard that is part of the machine. Machines will have fixed guards whenever possible because they provide the best level of protection.
    Interlocking Guards. These guards will automatically shut off or disengage the machine when the guard is opened or removed. You cannot use the machine again until the guard is put back into position.
    Self-Adjusting Guards. These guards adjust depending on the size and movement of the material. The guard will move out of the way to allow the material to pass through or, in the case of a saw, when the material is being cut.
    Adjustable Guards. These guards can be adjusted when required to accommodate different sizes of the material to be worked on or cut. The downside is that accidents are more likely to happen due to human error.
    The Purpose of Machine Guarding
    Safeguards are installed and maintained on our machinery to:

    Prevent Contact. Machine guards are there to reduce (and hopefully eliminate) the possibility that the machine operator or a co-worker’s body parts come into contact with the machine in a way that is likely to cause an accident to occur.
    Ensure Machine Safety. Good machine guards provide safety to the operator and others working around the machine. They are designed to not be removed and to be durable so that safety can be improved in the workplace.
    Protect from Falling Objects. The guard protects from other objects falling into the moving parts of the machine. When this happens, it can cause injuries to occur to the operator and those around the machine.
    Help You Do Your Job. Some machine guarding is there to help you do your job more efficiently and more accurately. For example, guarding on some machines also acts as a way to accurately make measurements.
    Machine Safety Tips
    Before using a tool or machine, make sure the guarding is in good working order.
    Make sure all tools are in good condition and have been regularly maintained (check the records).
    Only use machines and tools that you have been trained to use.
    Make sure it is the right tool for the job.
    Make sure the tool is clean and free from any debris that could create a hazard.
    Always operate machines according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    Always use the correct personal protective equipment (PPE).
    Disconnect tools from the power when not in use, during servicing, and when changing accessories.
    Follow the correct lockout/tag-out procedures.
    Make sure all other staff members are a safe distance away from the machine when you’re operating it.
    NEVER remove machine guarding.
    Key Takeaways
    There are four types of guards (fixed, interlocking, self-adjusting, and adjustable). Each one has different purposes.
    Guarding helps to prevent injuries to you and your co-workers as well as helping you do your job.
    Always use machinery as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
    Make sure you are trained in how to operate a machine before using it.
    Remember never to remove guards from the machines you are using!
    See all our toolbox talk topics here

  • Ergonomics at Work
    Ergonomics is all about the science of making work safer and more comfortable for humans. Topics that fall under this category include stretching, proper manual handling techniques, preventing repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis from overuse (especially in high-risk industries), and limiting exposure to vibration.

  • Evacuation procedures
    In the event of an emergency, you'll need to know where your people will be able to evacuate quickly. It's important that they know what situations require evacuation and how a signal might indicate when it is time for them to go!

  • Excavation
    Proper planning is important when a ground breaking operation takes place. Many hazards can be eliminated or mitigated properly at the beginning of digging operations if identified in the initial stages. Common risks include location, surrounding property and structures, people near to site, and cave-ins.

  • Eye Safety
    Eye injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries. The good news is they are almost always preventable. To help you stay safe while at work, we have put together this eye safety toolbox talk.

    In this toolbox talk, we will discuss the most common causes of eye injuries in the workplace and then go over how you can avoid them. By the end of this talk, you should be fully aware of how to prevent eye injuries.

    Why Run an Eye Safety Toolbox Talk?
    Prevent unnecessary eye injuries from occurring in the workplace
    It makes sure staff adhere to safety regulations and standards
    It makes sure companies/management adhere to safety regulations and standards
    Fewer injuries mean higher productivity
    The Most Common Causes of Eye Injuries
    Eye injuries can be caused by many hazards in the workplace and when carrying out dangerous jobs such as welding. Some of the most common hazards are:

    Flying dust and debris – this can be caused by yourself or a co-worker sanding or working with equipment that omits dust and debris.
    Exposure to dangerous chemicals – this is caused by chemicals and other dangerous substances becoming airborne and coming into contact with your eyes.
    UV exposure – this can be caused by being exposed to welding or working outside in the sun.
    Blunt trauma to the eyes – this can be caused by hazards such as falling objects or parts of machinery that stick out.
    Heat exposure to the eyes – this can be caused by getting too close to a co-worker welding or to machinery that emits hot air.
    How to Avoid Eye Injuries
    These are some great tips for avoiding eye injuries in the workplace:

    Identify hazards – before carrying out a task, make sure that you identify all of the potential hazards that could cause eye injuries. For every hazard that you identify, put in place safeguards to remove the risk. This can be as simple as doing the job outdoors instead of indoors, or it might be something complicated like having to evacuate all other employees from the worksite while you do the job. If you cannot eliminate major risks or are unsure, stop the job immediately and consult a supervisor.
    Wear correct PPE – always make sure that you wear the approved personal protection equipment (PPE) when carrying out a job where there is a potential risk of eye injuries. According to research, 3 out of 5 eye injuries are caused by people not wearing the correct PPE. Eye safety PPE includes safety glasses, face shields, and goggles. The exact type depends on the job you are doing. For example, when welding, you need to wear a welding face shield, and when working with dangerous chemicals, you should wear goggles that fully protect your eyes.
    Protect your co-workers – if carrying out a job such as welding, make sure that you put proper barriers up so that your co-workers can avoid UV exposure. If you are going to be carrying out a job where there might be a danger to your co-workers, make sure that you inform them before commencing the job.
    Follow Emergency Procedures. If something does, unfortunately, get into your eyes, don’t rub or scratch your eye. If you do, rub or scratch your eye it can make the damage much worse. The correct procedure is to go to your nearest eyewash station or use a saline bottle to rinse your eye out and if necessary, seek medical treatment. If you wear contact lenses, remove them before rinsing your eyes out.
    Key Takeaways
    You only have one pair of eyes, so protect them!
    Eye injuries can be very difficult to heal and can have a lasting impact on your ability to work.
    Before starting a job, identify any hazards that could pose a risk to your eye safety and then eliminate those risks.
    Always wear the appropriate PPE for the job you are doing.
    Remember that it’s not just your safety that is at stake—make sure you evaluate and eliminate any risks to your co-workers.
    If an accident happens, make sure that you follow the correct emergency procedures.
    If you’re not sure about anything to do with eye safety, ask a supervisor!
    See all our toolbox talk topics here

  • Eye Strain
    Eye strain can lead to a slew of problems. Dry, tired eyes; neck pain and headaches are just some of the symptoms that come from excessive focusing for long periods at time on one thing--like computers or fine detail tasks like driving without breaks for extended periods.

  • Fall protection Anchor Systems
    Review the appropriate usage of fall protection systems. Topics include talking about appropriate anchor points, load capacity, task not suitable, and the correct way to wear a harness.

  • Fatigue Management
    The effects of fatigue can be felt in both the mind and body, but when it affects your work performance or professional-level tasks then you need to take action. There are multiple ways that people experience this type of tiredness like a lack of sleep or high stress levels for example so if things aren't improving on their own then medical treatment may help!

  • Fire Extinguisher
    If a fire breaks out in the workplace, you will need to know how to use a fire extinguisher correctly. However, the most important thing to consider when there is a fire is your safety; as they say, things can be replaced, people can’t! So, if the fire has gotten out of hand, evacuate the worksite and call emergency services.

    Why Run a Fire Extinguisher Safety Toolbox Talk?
    To ensure you are prepared and know what to do in the event of a fire.
    To ensure you understand the different types of fire and what to do in the event of each type.
    To ensure you know how to use a fire extinguisher and its limitations.
    To ensure you can tell if a fire extinguisher is properly maintained.
    The Different Classes of Fires
    Everybody should know the different classes of fires. There are four different classes of fires, and each class has different guidelines for the best way to put them out.

    Class A – this fire consists of standard combustible materials like paper, wood, cloth, plastic, or rubber. These types of fires can usually be put out with water or a fire extinguisher.
    Class B – fires involving flammable liquids, grease, or gases. These fires can be put out using foam, carbon dioxide, or a fire extinguisher.
    Class C – live electrical fires. Even if an electrical fire involves a burning agent in the class A category, it should only be put out with a dry chemical extinguisher agent.
    Class D – fires involving burning combustible metals like magnesium and sodium. Special extinguishing agents are required to put class D fires out.
    Before you try to extinguish a fire, you need to know which type it is. That way, you will know the correct extinguishing agent to use to put it out.

    What to Do in the Event of a Fire
    If you come across a fire on the worksite, the first thing you should do is pull the alarm followed by calling emergency services. Once that is done, make sure you notify your supervisor. Activating the fire alarm will activate the worksite evacuation plan.

    If the circumstances allow, you should attempt to put the fire out by using the nearest fire extinguisher. However, only attempt this if you know what class of fire it is, the fire isn’t out of control (i.e, it’s contained to a small area the size of a trash can), and you have been trained in how to use the extinguisher correctly.

    The P.A.S.S. Method of Using a Fire Extinguisher
    If you need to use a fire extinguisher, remember the P.A.S.S method for how to use it safely and effectively. Each letter represents one of the four steps to use the fire extinguisher:

    P = Pull the pin. Grab the extinguisher, hold it away from your body, and release the lock pin.
    A = Aim. Aim the extinguisher towards the base of the fire (always aim it at the base and not the flames or smoke as this won’t put the fire out).
    S = Squeeze. Slowly squeeze the lever while it is pointed at the base of the fire.
    S = Sweep. Move the extinguisher side to side while squeezing the lever until the fire is out.
    When you go through the PASS steps, hopefully this puts the fire out. But it needs to be pointed out that fire extinguishers have limitations. If the fire is larger than a trash can, don’t attempt to put it out with a small, standard fire extinguisher. Pull the fire alarm and evacuate the worksite.

    Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
    To keep the fire extinguishers in the workplace in safe working order, here are some good general tips:

    All fire extinguishers need to be checked every 30 days. This needs to be documented.
    Check that the pin is still properly in place.
    Check that the pressure is correct. There is a gauge with an arrow that must be pointing within the green zone of the extinguisher. If not, it needs to be replaced.
    Key Takeaways
    Know where the closest fire extinguisher is located when working, especially when there are fire risks.
    Make sure you know how it works and if not, undertake training.
    Make sure you know what the PASS method is and how it works.
    Understand the times when it’s appropriate to use and the limitations of the fire extinguisher.
    If you are unsure of anything to do with fire extinguishers, ask a supervisor.
    A simple, 5-minute outline of what to cover in a toolbox talk on fire extinguisher safety in the workplace.

  • First Aid
    Regardless of how many safety procedures are put into place in a workplace, it is almost certain that, at some point, an accident will occur. When accidents happen, you must understand basic first aid policies so that help can be given to the injured worker safely and effectively.

    In this toolbox talk, we will discuss what you need to know about first aid in the workplace and what to do when first aid is required to be given to a worker on site. Working together, we can ensure a much safer workplace.

    Why Run a First Aid Toolbox Talk?
    We want you to be prepared in the event of an accident that requires first aid to be administered to an injured person.
    We want you to know the proper procedures when accidents occur in the workplace.
    In many cases, the faster first aid can be administered, the less harm will be caused to the person who is injured.
    What You Need to Know About First Aid
    Every staff member on the worksite should be aware of first aid basics, even if they are not a designated first aid provider.

    At a minimum, you need to understand these first aid basics:

    You must know the procedure if you come across an injured co-worker on the worksite (you will need to discuss your company’s specific policy).
    Be aware of what actions you should take if you have injured yourself. This isn’t just in the event of an accident with minor injuries that requires first aid or more serious medical attention—every accident needs to be reported.
    Be aware of who to contact in the event of accidents if you require first aid. There should be multiple people responsible for on-site first aid in case the first contact is unavailable.
    Know where first aid kits are located on the worksite.
    You need to be able to accurately give your location in the event of an accident so that emergency services can be deployed promptly.
    Be Prepared for Accidents
    If an emergency occurs on the worksite, you need to know what to do. This way, we can all help to keep each other safe and avoid small accidents turning into larger, more severe emergencies. The best way to be prepared is to adopt a “safety first” mindset when on the worksite.

    Here are some good tips:

    Ensure you understand the hazards when carrying out your job—especially the ones most likely to lead to accidents and workplace injuries. Once you are aware of the hazards, you can ensure you are doing everything you can to eliminate those risks.
    Pay close attention during safety training, briefings, and toolbox talks. Training helps you to be prepared, and this means you will be better prepared to help yourself or your co-workers if an unfortunate accident occurs.
    Make sure you read all safety materials supplied and the safety materials that are posted on the worksite—including safety materials for specific tools and machines. Safety materials are updated frequently and distributed to every staff member.
    If you are unsure of anything, make sure you ask a supervisor or your safety representative. When it comes to safety, no question is stupid!
    Key Takeaways
    You need to know what to do if you or a co-worker require first aid. Make sure you understand the company’s first aid policy/procedure.
    Know which staff members have first aid training so you can contact them in the event of an accident or injury to yourself or a co-worker.
    Develop a “safety-first” mentality when working. This involves always being aware of your surroundings and the potential hazards so that you can minimize the risk of injuries.
    Know where first aid kits are located on the worksite.
    Make sure you undertake all health and safety training and read all safety materials.
    Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have them.

  • Footwear
    Protective footwear is designed to protect our feet from hazards like sharp objects, heat, cold, falling objects, and more. Now would be a good time to make sure your protective footwear is in great condition!

  • Forklift Safety
    Forklifts save time and money, allowing you to move heavy loads quickly and efficiently. They also help reduce the risk of accidents on a worksite as they reduce the amount of manual handling required.

    However, when not operated correctly, forklifts can become very dangerous and lead to a range of injuries from mild bumps and scrapes to more serious injuries like broken bones. To help make your worksite safer, we have put together this forklift safety toolbox talk.

    Why Run a Forklift Safety Toolbox Talk?
    Ensures you know how to safely operate a forklift
    Helps you to be more aware of hazards while operating a forklift
    Gives you tips for how to minimize risks when operating a forklift
    Ensures we all know our responsibilities to maintain a safe workplace (including management)
    Safety improves productivity
    Forklift Safety Practices
    These are some common safety rules you must be aware of and follow when operating a forklift:

    Always wear a seat belt when operating a forklift—accidents do happen.
    When you are operating a forklift on inclines, ensure that the load is on the uphill side of the incline. When driving with a load, make sure you drive forward when going up the incline and backward when going down the incline.
    When driving the forklift without a load, make sure the forks are kept four to six inches off the ground.
    Make sure no one walks underneath a raised load.
    Never go around a blind corner before checking first and use the horn when necessary.
    When carrying a high load that blocks your vision, drive the forklift in reverse and turn your head around so you can see.
    When operating around other forklifts, try to keep your distance from each other (about 3 forklift lengths).
    Never drive up behind someone unaware you are there.
    When you park a forklift or leave it unattended, make sure the forks are flat on the ground, the controls set to neutral, and the parking brake is on.
    Make sure you have complete forklift training befoure using.
    Make eye contact with people around you.
    How to Properly Operate a Forklift
    Let’s put what we have discussed into action. Here is an example of what to do when operating a forklift to ensure you and your co-workers stay safe.

    Before you pick up a load make, sure that:

    The load is securely arranged and stable.
    The load should not be damaged in any way or the wrapping ripped.
    Make sure the weight of the load is centered. If it cannot be centered, you’ll need to be extra careful when moving it.
    The heaviest part of the load should be placed on first/closest to the forklift’s front wheels.
    Make sure the forklift isn’t overloaded—check the stated capacity for the forklift you’re operating.
    When necessary, use the load extension backrest.
    Approaching the Load
    Once you know the load is safe, you then need to safely get in the forklift, and when approaching the load, make sure you:

    Drive up to the load and stop about 8 to 12 inches in front of it.
    Make sure you are squarely in front of the load and that the forks are at the right height.
    Set direction control to neutral.
    Make sure that you don’t raise or lower the forks unless the brake is on.
    Fork Position
    Now that you’re in position, make sure that:

    The forks are level before inserting them into the pallet.
    The forks are placed as far under the load as possible.
    When you slide the forks into the pallet, make sure they are fully under the load. The forks need to be at minimum two-thirds the length of the load you are lifting.
    Make sure the weight of the load is centered between the forks and distributed as evenly as possible. You can also tilt the mast back to stabilize the load.
    Lifting the Load
    Once the forks are in place, it’s time to lift the load. Before doing so, make sure that:

    You check whether there is enough space overhead for the load after you lift it.
    You can then carefully lift the load up—about 4 inches above the lower stack.
    When you lift the load, tilt the mast back slightly so you can rest the load against the backrest extension.
    Finally, slowly put the lift control lever into the neutral position.
    Once you’ve successfully lifted the load, move it to its destination safely—adhering to the safety tips outlined above.

    Key Takeaways
    Safety first. This means looking out for yourself and your co-workers.
    Make sure you're prepared and aware of the risks before operating a forklift.
    Be careful when lifting a load—use the correct techniques.
    Drive safely.
    Remember forklift safety is for everybody on the worksite!

  • Frostbite
    This condition happens when you are exposed to temperatures below the freezing point of your skin. Frostbite can happen in cold wind, rain, or snow. The most common body parts to get frostbite are the cheeks, ears, nose, hands, and feet. Talk about how to protect yourself from frostbite and how to treat exposure.

  • Gas Safety
    Gas misuse and gas leaks can lead to fires and explosions which cause death, injury, property damage, and environmental pollution. In this talk, focus on how proper use, installation, and maintenance are critical when dealing with anything related to gases.

  • Guard Rails
    One of the most important aspects of being protected from a fall is the equipment or safeguards you select. Where there is a risk of falling, an employer must always look for ways to eliminate the risk of an injury from a fall. Discuss when guardrails may be an appropriate choice on site.

  • Hand Safety
    Hand injuries are one of the most common workplace injuries even though they are almost always preventable. To help you keep your staff and worksite safe, we have put together this toolbox talk.

    This talk covers all of the main workplace dangers where hand injuries occur and how you can prevent them from happening.

    Why Run a Hand Safety Toolbox Talk?
    Prevents unnecessary injuries to hands and fingers occurring in the workplace
    Ensures staff adhere to safety regulations and standards
    Ensures companies/management adhere to safety regulations and standards
    Helps prevent exposure to dangerous hazards and materials
    Injuries affect our ability to work and overall quality of life. Fewer injuries means higher productivity
    7 Common Workplace Dangers and How to Ensure Hand Safety
    1) Cuts and Lacerations
    Let’s start with the most common hand injury type—cuts and lacerations. This is when you cut your hands while using a tool or other equipment. These injuries can be prevented when:

    You make sure you use the safest cutting tools available for the specific job you need to do. If you’re not sure, ask a supervisor.
    Before using cutting tools, always ensure the blades are in good condition.
    Use the correct PPE for the job you are doing.
    If you have long hair, make sure that it is tied back, and if you wear jewelry, remove it so that it doesn’t get in the way.
    Ensure that you use the protective guards on cutting tools (if this is not possible, investigate safer ways to do the job).
    Use the safe cutting techniques you’ve been trained to use.
    Ensure you are fully alert and focused when using cutting tools.
    2) Hands Getting Crushed or Pinched
    The next potential hand injury is when your hands get caught in equipment and crushed or pinched. These are called pinch points. This can be prevented by:

    Always make sure that you assess the equipment and area you are about to work with/in so that you can avoid any hazards. Make sure you remove or minimize hazards before commencing your job.
    3) Muscle Strain in Your Hands
    When you use hand-held tools for long periods, you, risk of straining the muscles in your hands. To help avoid causing damage to your hands, you should:

    Try to only use ergonomic tools.
    Ensure you stretch your hands before and after work and remember to take frequent breaks.
    If you’re doing a repetitive task, try to remember to move your hands in the opposite direction now and then to avoid cramps and muscle strain.
    4) Touching Hazardous Substances
    Another common cause of hand injuries is when you encounter hazardous substances and surfaces. You can avoid this from happening by:

    Before aatempting you work task, make sure you wear the appropriate safety gloves for the job you are doing. For example, there are different gloves to protect you when handling dangerous substances and when carrying rough objects that might cause cuts or splinters, etc.
    Before touching a potentially hot surface, gauge the temperature first.
    When around dangerous substances and surfaces, make sure you stay fully aware of what you are touching.
    5) Injuries When Carrying Objects
    It’s also common to injure yourself when carrying heavy or sharp objects around the worksite. To avoid this happening, make sure that you:

    Ensure the path you are going to carry the object is clear of hazards.
    Ensure that you and the object(s) you are carrying will safely fit through any passageways.
    Ensure that you wear the appropriate safety gloves.
    If you get tired or worn out while carrying heavy objects, make sure you stop and rest.
    If required, ask another employee to help you.
    6) Hand Injuries Caused by Falling Over
    When you fall, your hands are often the first body part to hit the ground, which can result in injuries. To avoid this happening:

    The walkways on worksites need to be kept free of clutter.
    When walking up or down staircases, use the handrails.
    Make sure you always know what is in front of you.
    Avoid using a mobile phone while walking around.
    7) Injuries Caused by Machinery
    What we mean by this is when you put your hands into machinery or other dark spaces without checking what is inside. To stop this from happening:

    Never reach into any machine or space without carefully inspecting it first (turn the power off if necessary).
    Key Takeaways
    Wear the correct PPE.
    Be aware of your surroundings so you can see hazards.
    Keep the worksite free of clutter and other preventable hazards.
    Use the correct tool for the job and ensure that they are in good order.
    If you get fatigued, take a break.
    Don’t rush dangerous jobs.
    PPE only works when you use it. Make sure you are wearing gloves.

  • Hand Tool Safety
    Handtools are some of the most commonly used tools on the job and can range from hammers to saws. Generally, they're considered less dangerous than power tools because hand-powered devices don't have motors or electricity that could potentially cause accidental injury due to these factors. However, if not handled with care like any tool it's possible still pose as a source for potential danger. A combination of proper safe work procedures and selecting correct personal protective gear is important before using a tool.

  • Hazard Assessment
    Every health and safety management system relies on a hazard assessment. It's the cornerstone of any organization, ensuring that potential or existing hazards are eliminated to ensure a safe work environment for employees. Pre-job Hazard Assessment, Safe Work Plan, Job Hazard Assessment (JHA), Field Level Risk Assessment (FLRA), Field Level Hazard Assessment (FLHA), Pre-Jobsite Inspection (PSI), Task Card - Whatever you call it at your workplace talk about the importance of that document/s.

  • Head Protection
    A hard hat is a critical piece of personal protection. It is the last line of defense against objects hitting your head. If your hard hat is not in good condition or used properly, the consequences could be tragic.

  • Hearing protection
    Prolonged exposure to noise exceeding 85 decibels (dB), about the same loudness as a vacuum cleaner, can cause permanent hearing loss. Talk about hearing protection devices and give examples of work that require hearing protection.

  • Heat Stress
    While heatwaves are making news in 2021, construction workers and other professionals are exposed to heat stress risks every summer. Heat is a silent killer in the workplace and on the job site, causing people to suddenly collapse and fail to recover at the hospital.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, heat injuries affected nearly 2,500 workers in 2019. Preparing for the heat starts before the workday begins.

    Staying hydrated and wearing the right clothing can go a long way in protecting workers from heat stress. However, you may need to change your work patterns as well during heat waves where temperatures peak.

    What Heat-Related Illnesses are Common?
    Heat does more than just make you sweat, which is an essential part of staying cool. When your body’s natural cooling abilities are overwhelmed by heat and humidity, your internal temperature rises. This can cause mild to serious heat related illnesses, or HRI.

    Heat Exhaustion
    Heat exhaustion is less serious than a heat stroke, but it still requires treatment and attention to avoid permanent damage. It occurs because you have either become dehydrated or are low on sodium (salt). The signs include:

    Headache, especially coming on suddenly
    Pale or clammy skin
    Muscle cramps
    Move out of the sun and rest any time you experience early symptoms of heat exhaustion. An upset stomach tends to occur when you drink plenty of water but don’t have enough salt and other electrolytes in your system. Salt tablets, salty snacks, and sports drinks can all help to provide enough sodium to keep heat exhaustion at bay.

    Heatstroke is a more serious HRI that can kill. However, even non-fatal cases of heatstroke can still leave you with permanent organ damage, including to the brain.

    You don’t have to show any warning signs of heat exhaustion before progressing to this stage. It can come on suddenly, especially if you are dehydrated, impaired in your ability to sweat, or are exposed to sudden swings in temperature. The symptoms of heatstroke are:

    A lack of sweating despite the heat
    Bright red skin that is hot to the touch
    Flushed appearance in the face and chest
    Disorientation, confusion, or anger
    Extreme headache that may cause visual distortion
    Higher than usual body temperature
    Seizures or muscle spasms
    Partial or full loss of consciousness.
    Only immediate emergency treatment can save the life of someone experiencing heatstroke. Call 911 at the first sign of this condition and follow their instructions to safely begin cooling the worker down until an ambulance arrives.

    Heat Cramps
    Heat cramps are muscle cramps caused specifically by the dehydrating and salt-depleting effects of hot weather. As you sweat, your muscles lose the water and salt they need to perform. Even drinking plenty of water and sports drinks will only replenish your system so quickly.

    Working too hard or too quickly could leave you experiencing a muscle cramp that could be dangerous in a high-pressure construction or manufacturing setting. Taking breaks may slow the workflow slightly, but it will keep work going far smoother than stopping to deal with heat exhaustion or cramps.

    The Importance of Clothing
    Clothing and personal protection equipment (PPE) play a major role in HRI on the job site. Many workers adapt to the hazards or discomfort of the work by wearing long-sleeved shirts and heavily reinforced work pants.

    These layers all trap heat and make it harder to cool yourself while working. PPE also tends to trap heat and concentrate the risk of an HRI, even when the helmets, respirators, and other equipment are designed for hot weather use. It may be necessary to use more workers on shorter shifts to give everyone more breaks from wearing PPE as they rotate in and out of the work area.

    Adapting Your Work Patterns to Extreme Heat
    Other adaptions to work patterns can greatly reduce HRI risk for construction workers. First, set up temporary shade structures or concentrate work areas in shaded areas. Don’t cut materials or assemble parts in the sun if the shade is available. Pop-up worksite cabins and offices that include air-conditioning are recommended as break areas.

    These areas can save lives when workers are overcome with heat exhaustion or heat stroke, but they should also be available regularly for heat stress prevention. Finally, try to schedule work so that the hottest hours of the day see as little work as possible. Starting before sunrise or even moving to an overnight schedule can make all the difference in a hot climate.

    Don’t let heat stress become a silent danger on your work site. With a generous supply of water, a steady source of salt and other electrolytes, and a place to get out of the heat, construction work can safely continue through the summer.

  • Hoisting Signals
    If a crane is working on site it does not hurt to make sure that everyone has an idea of what hosting signals look like. Clear communication is key when it comes to work of this nature and the slightest miscommunication can be fatal to the signaler, crane operator, and other workers on the worksite

  • Home Office Ergonomics
    A lot of people think ergonomics is just about chairs and keyboards, but it’s actually not. You have to be mindful of your body position regardless of what equipment you have. Cover things like equipment positioning, rest breaks and stretching.

  • Housekeeping
    One of the main causes of workplace injuries is poor housekeeping practices.

    What do we mean by housekeeping?

    Workplace housekeeping includes activities that create or maintain a clean, tidy, orderly, safe workplace. When we keep the workplace and worksites free of clutter and clean, we can massively reduce the risk of accidents occurring.

    A clean and tidy workplace sets a good standard for the company as it shows you care about the small things and are, therefore, more likely to care about the bigger things when it comes to health and safety.

    In this housekeeping toolbox talk, we will go over the main housekeeping hazards and how you can minimize the risks.

    Why Run a Housekeeping Toolbox Talk?
    Helps us all to be more aware of hazards in the workplace
    Gives us all some good tips for how to minimize workplace hazards
    Ensures we all know our responsibilities to maintain a safe workplace (including management)
    Safety improves productivity
    Housekeeping Hazards and How to Minimize Them
    Clutter includes objects like equipment and tools left around lying on the floor, stairs, platforms, and other work surfaces. When this happens, staff can easily trip over, bump into things, and get hurt in other ways.

    How to minimize the risk

    Never leave tools, equipment, and material laying around—especially not left unattended on floors, stairs, and other platforms.
    Only have the tools and equipment you need with you onsite.
    Only order and bring on site the materials you need.
    Use racks to better store equipment and materials.
    Make sure you stack and store equipment and other materials away from walkways and emergency exits.
    When equipment and materials are not in use, store them away safely to reduce tripping hazards.
    Rubbish that accumulates in and around the worksite can become a hazard to staff. Often, waste is sharp, hard to handle, and may have things like nails sticking out of it.

    How to minimize the risk

    The worksite should have designated rubbish areas. Make sure you put all waste in these areas.
    Make sure you bag and tie up lightweight waste like paper, so it doesn’t blow around the worksite.
    Don’t overload skips and rubbish bins.
    Always try to reduce the size of rubbish. For example, breaking down boxes.
    Make sure waste bins and skips are kept away from the public (especially toxic waste). Waste areas should be clearly signposted.
    Always be aware of flammable waste when working—especially with tools.
    Wet Surfaces
    When surfaces like floors are wet, accidents are more likely to occur as people are more likely to slip over. This isn’t only caused by spilling liquids and not cleaning them up. It can also occur when the weather turns bad.

    How to minimize the risk

    Wear the appropriate footwear when on-site to avoid slipping over.
    When you spill something, clean it up or if necessary, arrange for someone else to.
    Inform your co-workers or members of the public (if applicable) of the hazard.
    When working outside, be aware of bad weather causing slip hazards such as muddy areas and wet floors.
    Bad Lighting
    If lighting isn’t good on a worksite, it can become a hazard as hazards are hard to see.

    How to minimize the risk

    Ensure that your worksite is well lit. If not, don’t work until it is.
    If appropriate, wear PPE if the risk is not fully minimized.
    If possible, use natural daylight where practical.
    Poor Hygiene
    When facilities like kitchens and bathrooms aren’t cleaned properly, this causes a health and safety hazard on the worksite.

    How to minimize the risk

    Clean up after yourself when you’ve finished using the kitchen.
    Use designated bathrooms.
    Clean yourself when dealing with dangerous chemicals or come into contact with other hazardous substances.
    Bathrooms and kitchens should be cleaned regularly.
    Key Takeaways
    Don’t leave equipment, materials, and tools laying around. That's not good housekeeping. Put things away after using them.
    Rubbish should never be left lying around the worksite. Use the appropriate bins and skips.
    Be careful around wet surfaces. If you spill something, clean it up or tell your supervisor.
    Always make sure there is good light before working in an area of the worksite.
    Clean up after yourself to maintain high hygiene standards on the worksite.

  • Hydrogen Sulfide
    Hydrogen sulfide is an extremely flammable gas that is very toxic when inhaled. Petroleum, natural gas, and hot springs are some of the places it occurs naturally. It can also be produced by the
    breakdown of bacteria from human and animal wastes (e.g. sewage) as well as industrial activities. It's important to recognize where it may be found and the symptoms of exposure.

  • Inert Gases
    Inert gases are odourless and colourless, they do not burn or explode. Yet these types of gas often displace oxygen in poorly ventilated areas. Help your team become more aware of hazardous material labeling and use appropriate guides to usage.

  • Ladder safety
    Using a ladder safety toolbox talk to reinforce best practices for ladder safety in the workplace are critical to prevent injuries.

    Ladder-related incidents led to more than 150 worker fatalities and more than 20,000 nonfatal injuries in 2015, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. It's also likely that ladder injuries are under reported.

    In this toolbox talk we are going to cover some of the basic things you should cover in a ladder safety toolbox talk.‌

    Choosing the Right Ladder For the Job
    Ladder choice is an essential you should cover in your safety talk. What you don’t want is workers climbing any old object to accomplish a task at height. Not only does that violate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules, but it puts all crew members at risk, especially when working at height.

    If a ladder is necessary, here’s what workers should consider before making a final selection:‌

    1. Ladder Material
    Ladders are typically made from wood, fiberglass, or aluminum. If you’re on a construction site, you’re better off with a ladder made from aluminum or fiberglass. One of the advantages of aluminum ladders is that they’re lighter and easier to maneuver around. That makes a big difference when you’re walking back and forth between people around a worksite. However, if you’re working in a place with electrical sources, you’d be better off with a fiberglass ladder since they don’t conduct electricity.‌

    2. Ladder Height
    Next, you want to make sure that the ladder is tall enough for the task at hand. It’s better to have a ladder that’s the correct height versus trying to make do with whatever ladder you can locate. If you’re going to use an extension ladder, pick one that goes at least seven feet higher than the maximum contact point. That way, your workers can set the ladder up at the correct angle. If you’re using a stepladder, the reach height should be four feet above the height of the stepladder in use.

    3. Ladder Duty Rating
    Make sure that a ladder can hold any necessary weight by checking its duty rating. Any ladder used on a worksite should have a sticker highlighting its duty rating attached to the side. In addition, workers should account for factors like body weight, clothing, protective equipment, and any tools they will have with them while using the ladder. ‌

    Setting Up a Ladder
    Before setting foot on the ladder, check it over for any structural defects like:

    Broken or missing rungs
    Cracked side rails
    Corrosion of components
    Other defective components‌
    If you notice any issues that could impact the safety of workers, remove the ladder from the worksite and have it sent for repair or disposal. You don’t want anyone using a ladder that could lead to a serious injury or even death.

    Workers should set ladders up in places where there isn’t a lot of traffic. However, if it’s a busy site, they should set up barricades that prevent anyone from accidentally jostling them while using a ladder.‌

    Crew members must position ladders at an angle most conducive to providing them with stability as they finish the task at hand. The rule for extension ladders is to set the base 1 foot away from a structure for every four feet of ladder height. That way, workers can achieve a 75-degree working angle.

    Make sure your crew members understand the importance of setting up ladders on a level, stable surface. If that’s hard to do, they should use a leveling device instead of stacking objects beneath the ladder legs. ‌

    Working on a Ladder
    Another point to note in a ladder safety toolbox talk is how to handle working on a ladder. Crew members should maintain three points of contact while working on top of a ladder. They can achieve using body parts like the hands, knees, and feet. In addition, crew members should face the ladder whenever they climb up and down.

    Workers should never stand any higher on a stepladder than two steps down from the top. For an extension ladder, they should never go higher than four rungs from the top. In addition, crew members should avoid using ladders if the current weather conditions include rain, strong winds, or the possibility of lightning.

    Position step stools as close as possible to the object the worker needs to reach. A worker can tell whether a step stool is suitable for the job by how much they have to strain to reach an object. If the crew member is constantly on their toes, they should switch to a ladder.

    F‌inaly, Never lean or reach away from the ladder while using it.

    As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to ladder safety, even for the most experienced construction professionals.

    Make ladder safety part of one of your regular toolbox talks and help protect your workers.

  • Lead
    Exposure to lead can have an adverse effect on your health and cause diseases. All people are most at risk of exposure when they enter industrial, construction zones which create dust or vapor from the toxic metal.

  • Leg safety
    The three parts of the leg that get injured the most are the knee, the Achilles tendon, and the ankle. Talk about situations that are most likely to cause injury and first aid treatment for common injuries. Hint: R.I.C.E.

  • legionella bacteria
    Under the right conditions, water systems can be the ideal place for the growth of legionella bacteria. The is the cause of Legionnaires Disease. Talk about locations and conditions where you find legionella bacteria. Also, cover appropriate controls.

  • Lighting Conditions
    Lighting plays an essential role in proactive defence against accidents and injuries. When lighting conditions are optimal, productivity can increase while improving the quality of work. Optimal lighting provides workers with an environment where they can clearly read labels and instructions; allowing them to identify tripping hazards or perform tasks at hand safely.

  • Lone Working
    Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. A person is considered to be lone working if they have neither visual nor audible communication with someone else, and this topic should cover the risks of being a lone worker through assessing procedure for the job at hand and talking about how one can communicate while on their own when needed.

  • Manual Handling
    Manual handling injuries are one of the most common types of injuries in workplaces. The main reason for this is that manual handling is carried out in almost every workplace—from construction sites to offices.

    Manual handling refers to lifting, pulling, pushing, or carrying objects manually within a worksite. When done incorrectly, workers can experience injuries such as back injuries. To avoid these issues, we have put together this toolbox talk.

    Why Run a Manual Handling Toolbox Talk?
    To make us more aware of hazards in the workplace
    To make us more aware of how to minimize workplace hazards to reduce unnecessary injuries
    To make us aware of how to properly pick up and move heavy objects in the workplace
    Ensures we all know our responsibilities to maintain a safe workplace (including management)
    Safety improves productivity
    Types of Manual Handling Hazards
    Loads – when carrying heavy, bulky, unstable, sharp, or difficult to grasp loads, injuries can occur.
    Not Enough Staff – when carrying or lifting objects, sometimes the task is done without enough people to be safe.
    Doing Repetitive Tasks – when you carry out repetitive actions, it can tire muscles and hurt soft tissue which causes injuries to occur.
    Having Bad Posture – it’s important to use the correct lifting techniques to avoid injury.
    Surface/ Floor Hazards – when carrying objects, it’s important that there are no hazards on the floor that you could trip over.
    How to Minimize Manual Handling Hazards
    Before carrying out a task that requires manual handling, take a step back and think about the risks and consider:

    How long will the handling last?
    What distance does the load have to be moved?
    What is the size/shape and weight of the load?
    How many people are required to do the job safely?
    What are the most likely injuries that could occur from doing this job?
    You can then think about how to minimize those risks and then consider actions such as:

    When possible, use trolleys, wheelsets, or skates to move large and awkward loads.
    Try to organize deliveries and storage of materials so that you reduce how far they need to be manually carried.
    Make sure all floors and surfaces are clear of obstacles before moving loads.
    When moving a load, make sure there is suitable lighting along the route.
    Make sure everybody involved in moving a load has proper vision along the route.
    Warm-up before carrying out manual handlings. This is because muscles cool down and you’ll be more at risk of injury if you don’t warm up first (just like exercise).
    Make sure everybody involved in the task is adequately fit and when required, stop to rest.
    Make sure you’re wearing the correct PPE.
    When storing objects, try to store them at waist height to avoid the need to bend over to pick heavy objects up.
    If possible, modify objects to make them easier to move. For example, you can take heavy equipment apart and move it in stages.
    Manual Handling Tips
    When carrying or lifting an object, make sure you stand reasonably close to the load, feet hip-width apart with one foot slightly forward pointing in the direction going forward.
    Always bend your knees when lifting objects and keep your back straight.
    Make sure you have a secure grip on the load and use handles when available.
    Stop for rests when you need to.
    Try to avoid twisting movements as this can lead to back and body strain.
    Key Takeaways
    Injuries in the workplace caused by bad manual handling techniques are one of the most common causes of injuries. For this reason, you must know how to properly handle heavy and awkward objects.
    Before carrying out a manual handling task, think about the risks involved.
    Once you know the risks, work out how to minimize those risks.
    Make sure everybody involved in a manual handling task is suitable to do the task.
    Use the correct lifting techniques.

  • Method Statement
    A method statement is a written safe system of work that helps people complete tasks with minimal risk. Method statements are often used in construction and other high-risk industries to ensure safety while completing the task at hand. A toolbox talk about how to write an effective methodology should include what, when, and why we use them as well as some tips for following these directions safely; this includes tools such as PPE (personal protective equipment) or instructions on where to find supplies if they're not readily available nearby.

  • Mind on safety
    A general talk on being mindful of safety is always time well spent. It's important to be aware and vigilant for hidden hazards before starting work, concentrating on the task at hand as much as possible, and going above and beyond in reporting potential hazards so they can get taken care of ASAP.

  • Mould and Mildew
    Mould spores are always present outdoors and often find a way indoors. Mould growths or colonies can begin to grow on wet surfaces, but some moulds pose more of an issue than others. Black mounds in particular can be hazardous if inhaled. Understanding where mould can be found and how to mitigate risks is important.

  • Near Misses
    You may not think talking about reporting near misses is all that exciting, but it has the power to save lives. Reporting near misses can prevent future accidents from happening. Talk about your reporting steps like filling out a near-miss form.

  • Noise Exposure
    As the CDC research states, over 22 million workers are exposed to hazardous noise levels at work each year. Exposure can lead to permanent hearing loss and once we diminish or lose our hearing we cannot get it back! Talk about ways that you can limit your exposure so this doesn't happen as well as wearing appropriate PPE when necessary.

  • Permits To Work
    Permits to work are often used within high-risk restricted work, ensuring that strict control measures and precautions are in place before, during and after the completion of a task or activity. Give an example of work that requires a permit to work and how workers can access permit to work forms.

  • Personal Care and Conduct
    Personal care means making positive choices that enhance your physical, mental and spiritual health. This includes things like exercising, eating healthy, keeping sharp mentally and putting an end to unhealthy habits such as smoking. Personal care not only aids in maintaining overall health but can also help reduce workplace injuries by protecting against injury-causing accidents while on the job!

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    Personal protective equipment (PPE) is safety equipment that is designed to protect employees by reducing their exposure to chemical, biological, and physical hazards while working.

    This toolbox talk covers why we use PPE, when PPE should be worn, and the different types of PPE that are available to mitigate worksite risks.

    Why run a PPE toolbox talk?
    PPE helps to prevent unnecessary injuries occurring in the workplace
    It reduces exposure to dangerous chemicals
    It reduces the spread of germs and infectious diseases like COVID-19
    It ensures companies adhere to safety regulations and standards
    It improves productivity
    When Should PPE Be Worn?
    Before PPE is considered for a job, you must first consider whether or not administrative or engineering controls can be put in place to reduce the risks.

    Administrative Controls
    Ask yourself these questions:

    Does the job even need to be done?
    Can you reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals or increase physical safety by using more employees to do the job?
    Engineering Controls
    If administrative controls cannot be implemented or don’t fully reduce the risks to an adequate level, then consider engineering controls. Ask yourself:

    Can general ventilation be used instead of requiring staff to wear a respirator?
    Can a wet process be used instead of a dry process to reduce dust?
    Can we install sound-reducing devices to mechanical equipment to reduce noise levels?
    If a job involves working at height, is there a safer height access option?
    If both administrative and engineering controls cannot reduce the risks to an adequate level, then PPE will be required to make a safe working environment.

    The 4 Types of PPE
    There are four types of workplace safety equipment available depending on the hazard exposure and work conditions.

    1) Face and Eye Protection
    PPE to protect your face and eyes includes safety goggles and various face shields. It should be used when doing tasks such as spraying chemicals and welding.

    Before using face and eye PPE check:

    If safety glasses and face shields comply with the correct protection standards.
    Make sure that the glasses or face shields are not cracked or defective in any way.
    Make sure that the strap on the glasses and face shields are working correctly and fit.
    After using glasses and face shields, they should be cleaned.
    2) Respiratory Protection
    The second type of PPE is respiratory protection. This includes full-face respirators, gas masks, surgical masks, N95 masks, and self-contained breathing apparatus. Respiratory PPE is used to stop you from breathing in harmful chemicals, gasses, viruses, and other nasty materials.

    When using respiratory protection, here are some helpful tips:

    You should undergo the correct training before using the more advanced PPE-like self-contained breathing apparatus.
    Read the instructions on the packet before using any respiratory PPE.
    Replace the respirator filters frequently.
    Disposable masks should be thrown away when you finish using them and shouldn’t be shared.
    Don’t touch the front of your mask when using it.
    If any PPE is damaged in any way, don’t use it.
    3) Skin and Body Protection
    Skin and body PPE helps protect you from physical hazards.

    Head Protection. This includes PPE like hard hats and should be worn when there is any risk of objecting falling onto your head. Always make sure the hat is not defective in any way and has straps that fit you.
    Body Protection. This includes PPE like safety vests and various types of full-body suits that are worn to protect you from coming into contact with hazardous substances and from high temperatures. Make sure that the equipment fits you correctly and is not damaged in any way.
    Hands Protection. The main form of hand protection is various types of gloves. The specific type depends on the situation. Always make sure that gloves fit your hands properly and are not dirty or defective.
    Foot Protection. To help protect your feet, PPE like knee pads and safety boots should be worn. Make sure the shoes or pads fit you correctly, they are not damaged in any way, and they are slip-resistant.
    Fall Protection. Fall protection PPE includes safety harnesses and lanyards that are used to protect you from falling. Make sure the equipment is not defective in any way and that they fit you correctly.
    4) Hearing Protection
    The final type of PPE is to protect your hearing. It includes equipment such as earmuffs and earplugs that are worn to reduce the noise levels you are exposed to.

    When using hearing PPE always make sure that:

    They fit into or over your ears correctly.
    Make sure the equipment actually reduces the noise level to a safe level.
    Ensure the equipment is clean and not defective.
    Key Takeaways
    PPE is the last line of defense.Before using PPE, it's good work practive to try and find an administrative or engineering solution to reduce risk.
    PPE reduces risk, it doesn’t eliminate it.
    PPE needs to fit you correctly and should be clean.
    If the PPE is only supposed to be used once, throw it out after using it.
    PPE must be replaced when it wears out and regularly checked that it is in proper working order.
    Some PPE requires you to undergo training before using it.
    PPE only protects you when you are using it!

  • Power Line Safety
    A high voltage power line can be dangerous to you and others around it. Not paying attention to your surroundings, underestimating the height or width of equipment, fatigue - these are all common causes for contacting a power line with large equipment such as trucks and tractors. Be aware of your surroundings.

  • Presenteeism
    Showing up to work when you shouldn’t can be a health and safety risk. Most common forms of Presenteeism include: Working while sick, too much or when distracted with personal issues are examples of when not to be at work.

  • Protecting the Public
    A huge consideration for any workplace is the consideration for members of the public that may not be aware of all hazards and risks. For example, if someone doesn't have any experience with construction sites they might not know about all the potential dangers on site. Talk about how you are going to make members of the public aware of hazards and what you can do to reduce exposure.

  • Rebar and Impalement Hazards
    Steel reinforcing bars, rebar for short, are a common safety hazard on construction sites. These steel bars can cut and scratch workers with their sharp ends which can result in serious injuries or death. To eliminate this risk, these projections should be guarded against impalement by using various methods such as bar covers or guards of some other type.

  • Refuelling
    There is always a risk of fire or explosion if a source of ignition is present around highly flammable liquids. Talk about refuelling procedures in place, arrangements for the use, storage and handling of fuel and standard signage to be aware of.

  • Respiratory Protection
    Respirators protect workers against hazards. These include insufficient oxygen environments, harmful dust, fogs, smokes, mists, gases, vapours, and sprays. Ensure your employees are aware and educated about respirator usage, because not wearing one may result in serious health conditions like lung impairment, cancer, other diseases or even death.

  • Rights and Responsibilities
    Everyone has a part to play in workplace safety. Everyone must know what their duties are; have the authority, resources, and time to carry them out; and have the required knowledge. Discuss these rights and responsibilities and if your people have any concerns.

  • Risk Assessment
    Risk assessment is an important process for identifying hazards and controlling risks to protect ourselves from danger. This talk should be used to make sure your team are aware of the need for risk assessments, where they can find them, which ones apply to their tasks and activities.

  • Road Work Safety
    If you’re working on the road, carrying out essential works, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of accidents from occurring.

    This is important because working on the road can be very dangerous due to all of the vehicles and heavy equipment that are in your work zone.

    In this road work safety toolbox talk, we will go over the main road works hazards and how you can minimize the risks.

    Why Run a Road Work Safety Toolbox Talk?
    Helps you be aware of hazards when working on the road
    Helps you to be able to identify risks and then minimize those risks
    Helps you to know the correct safety procedures while working on road projects
    Ensures we all know our responsibilities to maintain a safe workplace (including management)
    Safety improves productivity
    Common Road Work Hazards
    When working on or near the roads, there are a number of hazards that you need to be aware of, including:

    Moving and idle construction vehicles and equipment
    Moving vehicles driven by the public
    Heavy vehicles such as trucks
    Traffic management (especially if not adhered to)
    Noise from equipment and vehicles
    Limited visibility—caused by things like dust from vehicles and equipment
    Limited lighting (for example, working at night)
    Bad weather such as rain, sun, and high winds
    Natural hazards such as slips, trees, and vegetation
    In some instances, livestock and wild animals
    Road Works Best Practices
    Have a Plan. The main way to avoid hazards on a road worksite is to have a detailed plan for the job. Make sure you identify all specific risks and have a plan in place to minimize them. Make sure every team member knows the plan before work commences.
    Safety First. Always ensure the correct signage, traffic control systems, road markings, etc. are in place. Before heading out to the worksite, make sure you have all of the equipment with you.
    Wear Correct PPE. When working in traffic, wear the correct PPE such as a reflective high-visibility vest, hard hat, eye protection (when required), the appropriate clothing, and protective footwear.
    Get in, Get it Done, Get Out. By this, we mean always minimize the amount of time staff needs to be exposed to traffic. The best way to achieve this is to be prepared.
    Ensure Correct Training. All staff on a road worksite need to be properly trained in all aspects of safety. For example, the traffic control team needs to be fully trained. Only the required staff should be onsite too.
    Remove Hazards. Always ensure that all waste is removed from the worksite ASAP and that equipment that is not required is removed when no longer needed.
    Have Emergency Plans. Accidents do happen. For this reason, you must have emergency plans in place in the event of an accident. All staff must be made aware of the emergency plans before work commences. Depending on the specifics of the job, you may require backup plans in place too.
    Key Takeaways
    Be aware of the hazards around you when working on the road such as equipment, vehicles, and machinery.
    Always make sure there is a detailed plan in place, and you are aware of it, and then stick to it.
    Remember, safety first!
    Always make sure you take and then wear the correct PPE.
    Only spend as much time as you need to when working on the road. This helps to minimize the risk of accidents happening.
    Everybody on the worksite should have the proper training.
    Remove any hazards when you see them.
    Make sure there are emergency plans in place in the event of something going wrong.

  • Roof Work
    Roofs are one of the most dangerous places to be on a construction site, so make sure you're as safe as possible. Nearly 20% of deaths in work-related incidents involve roof access, so this is something that should always go at the top of your list when thinking about safety precautions for any job!

  • Safe Use of Power Tools
    The common tools that we use each day are often overlooked for the hazards they pose if not properly used or maintained. Reminding people to have the appropriate training and conducting pre usage inspections is important, but it's also essential to make sure you're using them within their manufacturer guidelines.

  • Safety Culture
    What makes an organization safe? Safety culture! Safety culture is the product of individual and group values, attitudes perceptions, competencies and patterns of behaviour that determine how committed people are to their company's health and safety. Take some time to understand if everyone's values are aligned.

  • Safety Nets
    Safety nets protect people from falling from heights by providing a soft landing. Talk about when safety nets are an appropriate control in the workplace.

  • Safety Signs
    Safety signs are a mainstay of any work environment, and it's important to understand the different types.

  • Scaffold Safety
    Scaffolding is a temporary structure used in construction to provide safe access and working platforms for work at height. The scaffold can be misused or abused because component parts are commonly removed by common tools such as hammers, spanners, etc. Construction of the scaffold also poses serious dangers when poorly designed and improperly assembled due to a lack of knowledge on how it should be properly done.

  • Sharp Objects
    Knives, blades, saws are all examples of sharp instruments that can cause injuries in the workplace. Talks about the basics of safe handling and first aid procedures.

  • Silica Dust Exposure
    Silicosis is a condition caused by inhaling too much silica over time. Silica dust particles act as tiny blades on the lungs. These particles create small cuts that can scar the lung tissue when inhaled through the nose or mouth. Any level of silica exposure can result in silicosis.

  • Site Access and Egress
    Emergency access and egress are the most important factors in emergencies such as a fire or injury that requires medical attention. In this talk you could cover how to keep an area clean, preventing slips, falls and blockages which can be detrimental during these emergencies.

  • Skip Loaders
    The movement of skips and containers cause death and serious injury. Think abuot how the area for collection can be made safe as possible and take the time to remind people of safety around moving vehicles.

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls
    Slips, trips, and falls are make up the majority of workplace accidents. The damage caused by such accidents can be from minor to severe, resulting in death. Proper housekeeping, being aware of elevation changes, slippery surfaces and environmental conditions are just some of the things you can talk about.

  • Social Distancing
    One of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases is to simply stay away from one another. Remind people of how far apart they must be to keep people safe.

  • Stress
    Hundreds of thousands of people suffer from work-related stress, anxiety and depression. This results in the loss of over 11 million working days per year. Stress can also lead us to make poor safety decisions at work so it makes for a good toolbox talk topic.

  • Stretching
    Physically demanding work may lead to discomfort. Done consistently, stretching can compensate for awkward working positions (such as working overhead or bend over), maintain or increase flexibility, and improve circulation.

  • Temporary Heating
    Construction must carry on year-round, through low temperatures and high winds. It's important to understand how to prevent worker injury from burns or carbon monoxide poisoning while working with temporary heating devices in damp conditions.

  • Temporary Stairs and Handrails
    Temporary walkways and staircases are often used on the job site to help workers access various points of the site. If not properly installed, these temporary structures can result in falls which might cause serious injuries or even death in a worst-case scenario.

  • Traffic Control
    Traffic control is an issue for people on a worksite and potentially members of the public visiting or surrounding the worksite. Talk about your site's traffic control plan. This will include things like, where the plan can be found, traffic routes, speed limits, restrictions and controls, and rules.

  • Trailer Towing
    Some people can be embarrassed about their driving skills when towing a trailer. They may not have the necessary practice and skillset for operating vehicles on-site, so it's good to discuss training requirements. Training should include your vehicle's hauling capacity as well as whether any certifications are required in order to operate them at work sites or other places.

  • Tyre Safety
    Tyres are one of the most essential safety components of a car. They provide grip for moving and friction to help you brake. Toolbox talks are a good time to have a conversation about tyre checks.

  • Underground Utilities
    Underground services are a major safety hazard at construction sites. Construction work can damage these buried systems, causing fatal and severe injuries as well as significant disruptions to the environment.

  • Welder’s Flash
    Welders Flash is one of the many hazards associated with welding. Talk about how to avoid exposure to both the welder and surrounding people. First aid procedures can be discussed as well.

  • Winter Site Safety
    Winter can be a hazardous time of year. For construction companies, the winter months bring unique challenges such as slip and fall accidents, frostbite, hypothermia and dehydration.

  • Work refusal
    There will be times when, for their safety, and employees will want to refuse to do work. Employers need to create a safe space to do so. Discuss circumstances where it's appropriate to refuse work and what this process looks like.

  • Working From Home
    It can be difficult to manage conflicting obligations when there is no separation between work and home. Talk about workstation setup, having realistic goals, taking breaks, and staying connected to others.

  • Workplace Complacency
    Complacency and our daily routines can be dangerous to us. We get so used to things being done the same way that we don't always look at hazards in our surroundings, or underestimate the risk of tasks that we do every day because they become routine for us. When something changes in your environment you might not notice it if you are complacent about what is going on around you. Make sure your people are looking at the workplace with fresh eyes every day.

  • Youth in Construction
    Younger people are in a unique position at work. They're inexperienced and unaware of the risks they could face on-site, so there should be special supervision for them as well as mentorship from experienced workers to make sure that these young ones know what's going on.

  • Zero harm
    Zero harm is an explicit commitment to creating a safe environment. Everyone in the organization has their own responsibility towards safety, and Zero Harm ensures that everyone understands this fact. Whatever your opinion on whether or not it's possible for every accident from work-related activities will be avoided, working with zero harm can help create a safer workplace culture where all accidents are seen as preventable errors

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The templates available in our Public Library have been created by our customers and employees to help get you started using SafetyCulture's solutions. The templates are intended to be used as hypothetical examples only and should not be used as a substitute for professional advice. You should seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of a template is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction. You should independently determine whether the template is suitable for your circumstances.