Toolbox meetings are a way for information to be provided to workers, and for workers to have their say about hazards/controls, incidents/accidents, work processes and company procedures. The Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 places duties on employers to provide their staff with opportunities to participate in safety activities.
Structure of Meetings
Toolbox meetings should be run on a regular basis and run for 10-15 minutes. The frequency of meetings will depend on the size, nature and location of the site. Some hazardous activities could require daily meetings, while often a weekly/fortnightly meeting will suffice. Safety meetings for workers should be short and to the point.
Why do we run Safety Meetings?
- Inform workers of changes to company procedures
- Identify new hazards and review existing hazards
- Develop/review hazard controls
- Discuss/review accident and incident data
- Employee participation
- Discuss programmes
- Develop/review work processes
- Short training sessions
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.
Toolbox Talk Topics
| Abrasive Wheels |
Misuse of abrasive wheels, discs or blades continue to result in accidents, often because the wrong type of wheel is fitted or the tool it is fitted to is incompatible.
| Abseiling |
This is a technique used to carry out specialized work such as high rise window cleaning.
| Accident Prevention |
Whilst overall accident statistics indicate a general reduction, the construction industry injury rates result in considerable costs to individuals, companies and the construction industry as a whole.
| Asbestos |
The inhalation of asbestos dust is classified as restricted work involving asbestos by the Asbestos Regulation 1998.
| Asphalt/Bitumen |
Working with asphalt and/or bitumen often carries a double risk. There is a primary risk from working with hot materials, and a secondary risk from the location roads and roofs!
| Confined Space |
A confined space is defined as an enclosed or partially enclosed space that is not primarily intended as a place of work.
| Demolition Work |
All demolition work carries an inherent risk, with primary hazards being falls and unplanned collapse.
| Dogman |
The movement of loads around a site, whether by telehandler, crane or whatever, entails an element of risk.
| Drainage of Floors and Surfaces |
Regulation 5(f) of the Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995 requires that where it is reasonably likely that the floor will become wet, facilities have to be provided to prevent Employees from becoming wet.
| Dust and Fumes |
Exposure to dust and fumes should be prevented where practicable, and must at least be controlled.
Employers must ensure that electrical appliances, equipment, machines, tools and power cords are safe for employees to use.
| Emergency Procedures |
Whilst the emphasis should be on prevention, the Construction Industry is a high-risk business, and there is always the possibility of an accident. It is important that all know what to do in such circumstances.
| Employee Duties |
Under Health and Safety legislation everybody has duties, including Employees.
| Excavations |
Trenches are potential killers and several Construction Workers have become a statistic undertaking excavation work.
| Fire Safety |
Fire is a major risk, both to people and property. You can either help prevent fires, or you can help start them.
| Flammable Liquids |
Highly Flammable Liquids (HFLs) including petroleum based adhesives are used extensively throughout the Construction Industry and carry with them the risk of fire, serious accidents and injury.
| Hand Tools |
Misuse and poor maintenance of hand tools result in countless injuries every year. Whilst many may be considered minor, all are avoidable by complying with relatively simple procedures.
| Health & Safety Refresher |
All persons on site have a legal responsibility for health and safety and to conduct their activities in a safe manner. This duty applies both to yourself and to your workmates.
| Hoists |
Hoists are an excellent device when used properly. If misused, they can be extremely dangerous.
| Housekeeping |
Employers must provide and maintain a safe working environment. This means ensuring that sites are maintained in good working order. Poor housekeeping is a common cause of injury, but it can be easily fixed.
| Ladder Use |
Ladders are one of the most used and abused pieces of equipment on a construction site. When misused and abused they have enormous potential to cause accidents and injuries.
| Lead |
Even if a building has been recently painted, it may have been painted with lead-based paints or have layers of old paint covered by modern paint. Today, only special purpose paints contain lead and these are clearly labelled.
| Leptospirosis |
There are two types of Leptospirosis (Weils Disease) that affects humans. One is transmitted by cattle and the other by rats.
| Lifting Accessories |
The term lifting accessories covers equipment that is used to lift a load that are not a permanent part of the lifting appliance. Misuse and/or neglect of lifting accessories are a common cause of accidents, some of which can prove fatal.
| Light |
Good lighting will improve safety, efficiency, productivity and morale.
| Managing Hazardous Substances |
The handling of hazardous substances is governed by the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act.
| Managing Site Waste |
Most construction sites produce significant amounts of waste which if allowed to accumulate, can create new or complicate existing health and safety hazards. These hazards range from basic nails in wood to attracting vermin.
| Manual Handling |
Manual handling in Construction is unavoidable. Therefore it is essential that it be carried out correctly to avoid both immediate and long-term injuries.
| Mobile Elevated Work Platforms |
Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) are useful pieces of plant when used properly. However they combine height with mobility and can be extremely dangerous if misused.
| Mobile Tower Scaffolds |
Mobile tower scaffolds provide a very useful and efficient working platform for numerous tasks when used properly. When misused, they provide a means of serious injury to users and to other employees.
| Noise |
Employers are required to take all practicable steps to ensure their Employees are not exposed to harmful noise.
| Occupational Overuse Syndrome |
Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS) is an umbrella term covering a range of disorders characterised by pain and/or other sensations in muscles, tendons, nerves, soft tissues and joints with evidence of clinical signs.
| Personal Protective Equipment - Clothing |
Suitable and sensible protective clothing is a pre-requisite of site safety and can provide effective protection against a wide range of hazards.
| Personal Protective Equipment - Ear Protection |
Noise induced hearing loss is the most common occupational health hazard there is, and is incurable. However it is easy to prevent.
| Personal Protective Equipment - Eye Protection |
It only takes a small fragment or splinter to cause irreparable damage to the eye. Most risks can be significantly reduced, if not eliminated, by simply wearing suitable eye protection.
| Personal Protective Equipment - Hard Hats |
For compliance with the Health and Safety Act 1992, the use of hard hats for protection must be considered as a means of minimisation.
| Personal Protective Equipment - Skin Protection |
Occupational Dermatitis is a common health problem within the construction industry. If some types of Dermatitis are left untreated, further complications may result.
| Plant and Equipment |
Site plant and equipment comes in many forms. It can be static or mobile, and can range from dumper trucks to welding sets.
| Pollution |
Not only is there a legal obligation to prevent pollution, there is also a moral one.
| Powder Powered Tools |
Powder powered tools are potentially lethal if misused and should always be treated with respect.
| Public Safety |
Construction sites can pose a variety of hazards to people in the vicinity of the work. Local Authorities, Construction Companies and Workers all have a part to play in ensuring the public are not endangered by construction work.
| Roadwork Sites |
Many accidents occur at Roadwork Sites every year. These accidents are often fatal and they affect both the construction Workers and the Public driving or walking on roads. Most of them could be avoided with the implementation of safe working procedures.
| Roof Work |
Roof work is inherently hazardous and results in a significant number of serious accidents every year. Dont become another statistic.
| Running of Toolbox Meetings |
Toolbox meetings are a conduit for information and provide Workers with the opportunity to have their say about hazards/controls, incidents/accidents, work processes and company procedures.
| Safe Access |
There is a general duty for Employers and persons who control a place of work. One of these duties is to provide safe access to every part of a workplace that anyone is required to work, or go to.
| Scaffolding |
Falls from scaffolding are a major cause of accidents in the construction industry. Major accidents can be the result of falling objects, people and in some cases the scaffold itself falls! All are preventable.
| Security |
Construction sites attract children looking for adventure, and thieves looking to steal plant and equipment. It is therefore important that sites are made secure in order to protect site materials and to protect the public, who will not be as aware of the dangers of a construction site.
| Smoking |
Did you know that only 3 out of 10 adults smoke? The number of people quitting is on the rise. Why not join them and feel healthier and happier?
| Sun Safety - Ultra Violet Radiation |
When people are exposed to UVB it affects the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, and is the primary agent responsible for sunburns.
Vibration can cause serious and disabling injuries, but many Operators are unaware of the risks.
It is essential to have a clear policy for Visitors to the workplace.
Welding is a multi-risk procedure to both Operators and others in the vicinity and it must be strictly controlled.
Adequate welfare provisions should be available on all sites, not just for the relative comfort of employees, but to encourage good hygiene practices and to help prevent occupational health diseases such as Dermatitis.
Falling from height is the major cause of fatalities in the Construction Industry. All such deaths and serious injuries are preventable.
Most drowning incidents relate to bravado, foolishness and/or lack of safety awareness and involve men.
Working platforms can comprise of almost anything used to achieve your task eg trestle platforms and stepladders, both of which are potentially hazardous if not used properly and safely.