Workplace safety is important for a number of reasons. Along with lower injury rates and time lost, safer workplaces are happier, more productive, and have higher levels of engagement.
What is a toolbox talk?
Safety toolbox talks are short 5 - 15 minutes safety talks that refresh knowledge. And they’re an excellent way to keep safety front of mind for everyone.
Why are toolbox talks important?
A report by the Associated Builders and Contractors in 2020 found that daily safety toolbox talks reduced workplace incidents by 82% as opposed to monthly safety talks.
Toolbox talks should be short, succinct, and simple to understand. Along with improving safety at work, toolbox talks keep team members alert to possible hazards, improve team communication, and show that the company values employees’ safety and wellbeing. They also help companies comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Digitizing toolbox talks can condense their length to just 2 - 5 minutes. It also increases their effectiveness by making them more interactive. Brief quizzes and short anecdotal stories on key safety topics help people consume information faster and retain it for longer.
While daily safety toolbox talks are an effective way to improve a company’s culture, productivity, and, of course, safety record, coming up with new topics can be a challenge. We’ve listed 15 key safety topics logistics and transport companies can use to help create their own free toolbox talk template to cover the year ahead.
What is eduMe?
eduMe is a mobile training tool used by deskless workforces around the world. Our customers include Uber, APC Overnight, Gorillas, Gopuff & Marriott.
What makes eduMe the market leader?
Put simply - how easy it is to use and how effective it is. Faster onboarding, quicker time to productivity and a safer workforce are all benefits our customers see. Watch our explanation video below.
7 General safety toolbox talk topics
Some safety topics apply everywhere. No matter if you work in an office, warehouse, or on the road, safety toolbox talks should cover everyday safety.
1. General Housekeeping
Messy workplaces are full of hazards. Keeping areas clean and tidy reduces the risk of trips and falls and improves wellbeing at work. Various studies found that cluttered workplaces resulted in increased stress levels, lowered productivity, and even had an adverse effect on workplace relationships.
2. First Aid Toolbox Talk
When accidents happen, it’s important that procedures are followed to help the injured person as quickly as possible. All staff should know where first aid supplies are kept and the procedure for administering aid while waiting for professional help.
3. Accident Reporting
Not only are full and comprehensive accident records required by the OSHA, reporting accidents is the first step to avoiding repeats of the same risks. Including near misses with accident reporting, can reduce safety incidents even further. The Henrich pyramid shows one serious accident and 30 minor incidents occur for every 300 near-misses.
4. Sexual Harassment
Understanding the types of sexual harassment - quid pro quo and hostile work environments - can help employees spot incidents and speak up if they see them. Harassment at work - sexual or other - creates an unsafe environment for all.
5. Positive Attitude
Our attitudes affect the way we see the world and engage with it. A negative attitude at work can lead to carelessness, complacency, and taking shortcuts that put you or others at risk. People with a positive attitude are often more proactive.
6. Back safety
Some of the best safety tactics are preventative ones. Lift heavy items safely by bending at the knees instead of the hips or back. Remaining close to an item when picking it up and moving it will protect your back and prevent painful injuries. Back safety toolbox talks can also cover safe driving positions and back exercises.
6 Warehouse safety toolbox talks
Warehouses can be busy and potentially risky environments. Daily safety toolbox chats should cover the most common hazards found in warehouses.
1. Slips, trips and falls
Slips, trips and falls are the number one reason for industrial injuries in the US. It’s estimated these cost $13 - 14 million each year. General housekeeping goes a long way to preventing these accidents. Leaks and spills should be cleaned up immediately and broken planks and tiles fixed as a priority.
2. OSHA electrical safety
Electricity is one of the OSHA’s ‘Big Four Hazards’ and responsible for burns, falls, shocks, and at worst - electrocution. Basic electrical safety in the workplace means ensuring power cords and boards are in good condition and electrical work is left to qualified professionals.
3. Confined space awareness
Typically we think of warehouses as large, open spaces, but warehouses can also include confined spaces thanks to tightly packed and stacked boxes. Employees should understand the difference between permit-required and non-permit-required confined spaces and the behaviors that keep them safe when working in them.
4. Ladder safety
Each year there are 300 deaths from falls from ladders - most are from heights of 10ft or less. Try our ladder safety toolbox talk below:
5. Stacking and Storage
Safe stacking and storage is not only essential for the safety of warehouse workers, but it will also ensure there is minimal risk of falling boxes. Regular toolbox talks that cover best practices help employees remember the safest way to stack and store items.
6. Safe Use of Lifting Equipment
Safety helmets and high-visibility vests are just the beginning of ensuring employees are safe when using lifting equipment. Toolbox talks should cover blind spots, best practices for using forklifts, and ensuring all equipment are in good working order.
3 Trucking and Transport Safety Toolbox Talk Topics
1. Traffic Safety
Spending a lot of time on the road can make drivers complacent about common traffic risks. Traffic safety toolbox talks should cover common and less usual highway hazards along with describing recent hazards and near misses experienced by their team. This keeps toolbox talks relevant and memorable.
2. Slippery Road Conditions
In colder months roads can become slippery with rain and ice. Safety toolbox talks that cover seasonal issues for drivers can keep them alert to the changing conditions and safe on the road. Winter driving toolbox talks can cover slippery roads, vehicle maintenance, and being prepared for emergencies.
3. Loading Dock Safety
There are many hazards faced by delivery drivers and loading docks can be full of risks. Slipping and falling from loading platforms can result in severe injury and even death. Suitable footwear, appropriate equipment, and requesting help with heavy loads can keep delivery drivers safe in loading docks.
Safety toolbox talks work best when they are brief and repeated regularly. Talks at the beginning of shifts ensure that safety is put in front of mind and employees are more alert to possible hazards. Safety toolbox talks that engage and are easily consumed work best.
eduMe is a mobile-based training tool that puts safety information in the hands of your employees, regardless of where they are, or when they work. No more printing, gathering signatures or needing everyone to be in the same place at the same time.
After you’ve distributed the information, you can assess knowledge and track engagement and lesson completions in real-time, giving you the assurance you need that your people are fully compliant and operating in a safe manner.
Following the roll out of eduMe, one leading North American logistics company reduced injuries by 26% in the first year.
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