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Safety Meeting and Toolbox Talks

Safety meetings are a key part of your safety awareness program.  Safety meetings are also one of the best methods to motivate workers to get safety out of the classroom and into the field.  Safety meetings can be formal or informal and can cover a variety of topics.

Formal meetings are planned and announced in advance in order to provide your employees with information from weekly safety letters, training issues, regulations, procedures, and hazard protections.  Informal meetings, often referred to as “Tailgate or Toolbox” meetings, can also be planned.  “Tailgate” meetings are often short in duration covering a specific topic.  These short safety meetings are very effective at relating safety to a specific job or work task.

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Safety meetings are important to the success of your safety program because they impact all of the following:

  1. encourage safety awareness.
  2. get employees actively involved.
  3. motivate employees to follow proper safety practices.
  4. can help to nip safety hazards in the bud.
  5. introduce workers to new safety rules, equipment and preventive practices.
  6. provide vital information on accident causes and types.

Training means helping people to learn how to do something, telling people what they should or (often as important) should not do, or simply giving them information. The most important reasons for taking safety training is to educate your workers to perform tasks safely, reducing and avoiding the risk of danger and to increase the awareness of safe environment among all employees.

Providing health & safety information and training helps you to:

  • Ensure you or your employees are not injured or made ill by the work they do;
  • Develop a positive health & safety culture, where safe & healthy working becomes second nature to everyone;
  • Find out how you could manage health and safety better.

The best time to schedule a safety meeting is in the beginning of the work shift.  Having a clear agenda will help keep the meeting on track and on time.  Here are some samples of items that can be added to the agenda of a safety meeting.

  1. Sign in
  2. Review items from previous safety meetings
  3. Ask for suggestions for future meetings
  4. Cover items identified for current safety meeting – to help encourage interest and participation you can try using visual aids such as video clips, presentations or printed handouts.
  5. Review or test the participants by asking questions
  6. Present agenda for the next meeting.

Safety meetings will help keep the awareness of safety issues fresh in the minds of your employees.  They will understand how important safety is to your company and they will be able to help carry that message through their work day.