A Better Way to Do Toolbox Talks (and 5 Freebies Just for You)

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A Better Way to Do Toolbox Talks (and 5 Freebies Just for You)

So. Toolbox Talks.

We heard that groan, and we get it—they’re boring, right? Or at least predictable. It can be hard to come up with new ways to engage your workers in safety topics day after day. And since you have to deliver Toolbox Talks, that lack of engagement can lead to frustration on your part.

Boreal has something in the works that we hope will be a huge help in this area, but first, let’s talk about how to make your Toolbox Talks more interesting and relevant.

Characteristics of a Good Toolbox Talk

  1. Topics are fresh, or approached from a fresh angle.

A great way to make your Talks more interesting is to cover new ground, and one of the best ways to do that is to connect the topic directly to your workplace. How can you do that?

  • Link your Talk to incidents or near-misses that have happened on your worksite recently
  • Relate the topic to recent incidents at other, similar worksites
  • Use Talks to bring attention to issues in the area
  1. Topics are chosen for a reason.

Obviously, the fact that Toolbox Talks are required could count as a reason for giving them, but that’s not what we mean. Why is it important that workers know this particular piece of information? The first point ties in well here; a Talk that relates directly to your workplace has a “why” built in.

  1. Talks are short and efficiently delivered.

Short Talks are less likely to be boring, which helps to keep workers interested. And for short Talks to convey the necessary information, they need to be efficient as well.

  1. Talks are engaging, with discussion questions built in.

Worker engagement during Talks helps to solidify the information, and it allows for discussion on safety topics. Giving a Toolbox Talk that is short, efficient, and engaging can be tough, but building discussion questions into the talk make it a lot easier.

It’s also important to allow workers to make suggestions or comments, or ask questions during Toolbox Talks. Just make sure everyone stays on topic and that it doesn’t turn into a complaint session. (And remember to follow up on any questions you couldn’t answer at the time, or any suggestions that required more research.)

One more way to get workers engaged in Toolbox Talks is to ask a worker to help with or even lead a Talk—a change of pace helps with engagement.


Toolbox Talks Delivered to You

Creating and delivering better Toolbox Talks isn’t something we’re seeing addressed anywhere else, so Boreal will soon be launching a new service: Automatic Toolbox Talks. This subscription-based service will deliver fully developed Talks to your e-mail inbox on a regular basis: fresh topics, fresh angles, with discussion concepts and questions built right in.


5 Free Toolbox Talks!

As a bonus, this article includes your first five Automatic Toolbox Talks for free. They cover the topics of Ergonomics, Eye Protection, Housekeeping, Manual Lifting, and Overhead Powerlines. Just enough to tide you over until the subscription program launches later this spring!

We’re excited about this new service, and we’d love to hear your feedback! To be honest, we’d love for you to be our beta-testers! Check out the free Talks, and if you use them on your jobsite, tell us how they work for you and how you’d like to see them evolve from here. The more feedback we get, the more we can customize these to your needs. Send your suggestions to toolbox@borealservicesgroup.com.

Overhead Powerlines

Manual Lifting


Eye Protection


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