How To Run A Toolbox Talk

How To Run A Toolbox Talk

Toolbox talks are a way to ensure all workers are participating in safety activities, and have an opportunity to discuss hazards/controls, incidents, and accidents.

As part of the Health and Safety at Work Act, employers must provide employees the opportunity to regularly engage in health and safety discussions.

  1. Schedule the meeting

Let the team know where and when the meeting is. At the start of the day works best with most workplaces.

  1. Set the scene for the meeting ­—  keep it real and be positive

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Encourage everyone to join in and provide their own feedback, knowledge, and experiences. Use simple language for everyone to understand to convey the key health and safety messages.

Toolbox meetings are an opportunity to provide positive feedback for safe actions, hard work, and initiatives. It’s also important to avoid criticism and acknowledge everyone for their contributions. The meeting shouldn’t be a lecture, but a chance for engagement with the team.

Ensure that running and attending toolbox safety meetings is recognized as an important part of a person’s role. If the worker regards health and safety as an add-on, it will often be neglected.

  1. Follow an agenda

Follow an agenda to make sure you cover everything off:

  • Inform workers of changes to company procedures
  • Identify new hazards and review existing hazards
  • Develop/review hazard controls
  • Discuss/review accident and incident data
  • Discuss the work programme for the day/week ahead
  • Have company leaders talk about the business direction or a particular topic
  • Discuss any new equipment on site
  • Provide a short training session (Site Safe provides exclusive toolbox talk topics to its members for upskilling and informing workers).
  1. Close the meeting

Thank the team for their time and let them get to work.

  1. Record meeting notes

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Details of meetings should be recorded and kept on file. Record meeting dates, attendees, and discussion items. Show follow-up items from previous hazards, accidents, and incidents.

Topics to Discuss 

Discussion points at safety meetings should be topical and relevant to current or upcoming activities in the workplace. Topical items for discussion can be identified by asking workers for input, changes in the plant or work process or work environment, or in response to accidents/incidents in the workplace.

Listed below are some suggested topics for discussion:

  • What items would workers like to discuss?
  • Introduction of new plant or processes
  • Development of task analysis or methodologies
  • Changes in season e.g. sun smart, dehydration
  • Use of plant
  • Handling of materials
  • Identifying training requirements.


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