Pick a topic for today
We get that it can be overwhelming reading a list of 101 toolbox talks. Press the button below and we will pick one for you at random.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Angle Grinder Safety
Grinding disks and wheels are common on many worksites. Some of the risks posed by these tools include:
- Eye injuries from spent fragments
- Burst disks
- Injuries from coming into contact with a wheel
- Noise exposure
Covering off how to mitigate the above points would form the basis of a good toolbox talk.
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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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!
12. Dangerous Occurances/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.
13. 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 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 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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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!
19. 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 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.
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.
22. Electrical Safety
Working with electricity is dangerous. There are many daily hazards that can lead to injury or death, such as overhead power lines and faulty electrical tools. In the workplace, there are a number of ways in which electric currents may be present: from service within buildings to powerlines used outside. Take the time to remind people of best practices.
23. Elevator 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.
24. 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.
25. Equipment, Machine and Tool Guards
When it comes to protecting workers from the dangers of a work environment, there are many ways machine guards can help. Guards protect moving parts that could cause severe workplace injuries such as crushed fingers or hands, cuts or amputations, and burns. When used correctly, guard equipment helps prevent clothing and body contact with dangerous machinery which will keep you safe in your workplace!
26. 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.
27. 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!
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.
29. Eye Safety
Eye injuries are a constant threat to the safety of any workplace. Flying particles, dust and flashes can cause serious damage in an instant if you're not wearing protection or proper eyewear for your job type. Protective eyewear includes things like:
- Non-prescription protective glasses (to shield from flying particles)
- Goggles with side shields
- Welding helmets
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. 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!
33. Fire Extinguisher
Employees should be reminded of the location and usage of fire extinguishers in the event of an emergency. Discuss the different types of fire and the right extinguisher to use.
34. Fire Prevention
This is a great toolbox talk because thousands of fires happen in workplaces around the world every day. Fires can be prevented in all workplaces by remembering to keep all elements of the fire triangle, fuel, heat and oxygen separate.
35. First Aid
Discuss this topic during your toolbox talk. Make sure everyone on the team is knowledgeable of first-aid arrangements in place, where equipment and supplies are stored, emergency contacts when someone gets hurt badly enough that you need help from professionals instead of just yourself or a teammate.
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!
37. Forklift Safety
The use of forklifts in the workplace opens your team to risks such as injury and death. It is important for everyone on site, including those who are not operating a forklift, be made aware of basic safety practices that can help reduce these hazards. Make sure all employees know about blind spots with regard to forklifts so they're never caught off guard by one; always stay alert!
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.
39. 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.
40. 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.
41. Hand Safety
The hands are the most common way that we come into contact with hazardous substances at work every day, so it's important to always use gloves when handling these materials. Additionally, gloves can help protect us from cuts, stings, and abrasions. Glove choice is important as is storage.
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. Head Protection
A hard hat is a critical piece of personal protection. It is the last line of defence against objects hitting your head. If your hard hat is not in good condition or used properly, the consequences could be tragic.
45. 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.
46. Heat Stress
Summertime can bring new risks to the workplace and heat stress is one of them. Find a cool place to sit down and talk about heatstroke and sun burn
47. 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 signaller, crane operator, and other workers on the worksite
48. 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.
A large number of workplace accidents like slips, trips, and falls can be prevented by having a clean and tidy workplace. The other bonus of a clean workplace is that it's usually more organized and therefore more productive.
50. 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.
51. 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.
52. Ladder safety
Ladder accidents are more common than any other work-related equipment and it is important to have a clear understanding of the rules for safe ladder use. Make sure you inspect your ladder before usage, take appropriate precautions during unsafe actions on the ladder, choose a proper height and type of ladders that suit particular job requirements.
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 vapour from the toxic metal.
54. 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.
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.
56. 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.
57. 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.
58. Manual Handling
Damage to the back can affect us for the rest of our lives. Heavy lifting, repetitive movements, and sitting at a desk all day can weaken the back. Talk about safe lifting techniques, exercises, and stretching. Also, cover off the need to report injuries and seek medical advice.
59. 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.
60. 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.
61. 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.
62. 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.
63. 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.
64. 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.
65. 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!
66. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Though it may seem like an inconvenience, wearing PPE is the last line of defense against workplace hazards. This talk should include why PPE is important, when and how to wear it, as well as best practices for its use.
67. 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.
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.
69. 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.
70. 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.
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.
72. 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.
73. 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.
74. 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.
75. 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. Talk about the common hazards like moving vehicals driven by the public, repair equipment and natural hazards.
76. 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!
77. 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.
78. 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.
79. 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.
80. Safety Signs
Safety signs are a mainstay of any work environment, and it's important to understand the different types.
81. 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.
82. 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.
83. 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.
84. 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.
85. 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.
86. 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.
87. 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.
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.
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.
90. 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.
91. 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.
92. 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.
93. 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.
94. 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.
95. 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.
96. 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.
97. 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.
98. 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.
99. 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.
100. 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.
101. 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.
102. 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