Are your Toolbox and Safety Meetings Effective?

As long as we have been tracking analytics for CROETweb, our most popular page has been Safety Toolbox Talks. In fact, the most popular search engine term that brings people to CROETweb is safety talks. As safety and health professionals, and safety leaders, we seek interesting, insightful and new ways to teach and motivate others. And most seasoned safety professionals have learned through experience – keep it simple, keep it relevant, and make it engaging.

We are lucky that so many good resources exist. Many of us find real lessons learned – such as those produced by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and states Fatality and Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) Program – to be particularly instructive, if they are relevant to the industry and audience. We are pleased that OR-FACE has developed new Toolbox Talk Guides to address one of the most common worksite hazards  – construction falls.  Check out other guides created by many organizations and posted on CROETweb, which includes content, tips, videos and lessons learned. And if you know of some not already posted on CROETweb, send us the links. Just make sure they are freely available on the internet.

Above all – we are reminded to make sure our messages are clear, pertinent and relevant. Use and engage our group’s collective experience and don’t make assumptions about who is part of our work group. One of my lessons, from almost two decades ago, came as I was sharing a tragic workplace fatality involving a young Oregonian – a workplace death that was entirely preventable. During the discussion I learned one of the members of our group was related to this young man. I was reminded that we need to be empathetic, honest and engaging – as we recognize the consequences of workplace tragedies and the commitment it takes to allow all workers to have a tomorrow.

CROETweb Topic: Safety Toolbox Talks

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  1. Making personal connections to safety training is a good way to engage the audience and to make sure that they remember what is being taught. Safety requires buy-in from the entire group, and so by including experiences and anecdotes, you can better get your message across.

About the Author

Dede supports the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center's research, engagement and education programs. She is a certified industrial hygienist.

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