Toolbox Talks for OSHA Safety and Health
Toolbox talks are an easy way for foremen and supervisors to supplement the OSHA training efforts of their company or organization, and to keep safety front and center in their workers' minds. These short pre-written safety meetings are designed to heighten employee awareness of workplace hazards and OSHA regulations. They are not intended to take the place of formal OSHA safety training for workers, but to supplement it.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when conducting a toolbox talk for your workers:
- Try to hold the toolbox talk in an area that is free of noise and other distractions. If the workers cannot hear you talking, or are distracted by other activities in the area, they won’t be focusing on your talk.
- Speak clearly and directly. Mumbling or reading too fast makes it difficult for the workers to understand you. Just take a deep breath, and then speak clearly and at a natural pace.
- Use a prop when possible to help you keep the workers attention. If you are giving a toolbox talk on setting up a portable step ladder, have one set up nearby so you can point out things as you read the toolbox talk. To really drive home a point, have an unlabeled container you found on the jobsite available when giving a toolbox talk on OSHA’s hazard communication standards about labeling requirements.
- Always give workers an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the toolbox talk. Don’t make snide remarks to employees who do ask a question, as this will discouraging others from asking questions later.
- Always document your toolbox talks. Even if certain OSHA standards do not require documentation of safety training, it can’t hurt to have the information about the topic, the trainer, the date, and names of the workers on file.
- Last but not least, practice what you preach. Nothing makes a trainer lose credibility faster than to have a worker see them doing something that violates the safety precautions that were covered in a previous toolbox talk. Always set a good example.
Free Toolbox Talks
The free toolbox talks provided below on this website are available for you to download and print at no cost for use within your company or organization. They are not to be used for commercial gain, nor republished on any other website or in any document.
A new toolbox talk will be published on this site each month. Each topic selected is generic enough to be applied to many different work environments (construction and general industry). While the information contained in each toolbox talk is believed to be accurate, remember that these toolbox talks are not intended to take the place of formal OSHA training, they are only intended to supplement the mandatory training and help maintain awareness.
You are responsible for checking the OSHA training requirements for construction and / or the general industry training requirements to determine the actual training that must be provided to your workers. OSHA Training Services Inc. cannot be held liable for the content in, or misuse of, these generic toolbox talks.
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January 2013 - Toolbox Talk #13 - OSHAs Revised Haz-Com Standard - What is GHS?
February 2013 - Toolbox Talk #14 - OSHAs Revised Haz-Com Standard - Container Labels
March 2013 - Toolbox Talk #15 - OSHAs Revised Haz-Com Standard - Pictogram / Flame
April 2013 - Toolbox Talk #16 - OSHAs Revised Haz-Com Standard - Pictogram / Circle Over Flame
May 2013 - Toolbox Talk #17 - OSHAs Revised Haz-Com Standard - Pictogram / Corrosion
June 2013 -
July 2013 -
August 2013 -
September 2013 -
October 2013 -
November 2013 -
December 2013 -
January 2012 - Toolbox Talk #1 - Hazard Communication - Labeling Requirements / CANCELLED DUE TO REVISED OSHA STANDARD - NEW TALK ABOVE
February 2012 - Toolbox Talk #2 - Hazard Communication - Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS's)
March 2012 - Toolbox Talk #3 - Hazard Communication - Chemical Hazards and Effects
April 2012 - Toolbox Talk #4 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Hazard Assessments
May 2012 - Toolbox Talk #5 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Eye Protection
June 2012 - Toolbox Talk #6 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Hand Protection from Chemicals
July 2012 - Toolbox Talk #7 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Hand Protection from Cuts/Scrapes
August 2012 - Toolbox Talk #8 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Face Protection
September 2012 - Toolbox Talk #9 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Foot Protection
October 2012 - Toolbox Talk #10 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Head Protection
November 2012 - Toolbox Talk #11 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Hard Hat Dos and Don'ts
December 2012 - Toolbox Talk #12 - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Dust Mask Use
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