Toolbox Talks Slips Trips and Falls

Looking for toolbox talks slips trips and falls? No problem! Here are a few that you are sure to love. Don’t forget to share these topics at your next safety meeting. Remember, you should always edit our general messaging to ensure it’s suitable for the work taking place on your job site.

A Toolbox Talk on the Causes Slips Trips and Falls

Toolbox Talks Slips Trips and Falls
Here’s some Toolbox Talks Slips Trips and Falls – enjoy!

Has this thought ever crossed your mind? The only way to be safe from falls is to avoid them! Avoidance is the key word. Let’s explore just a few of the factors contributing to falls and their serious results. Here are some to think about.

Scaffolds – Never erect a temporary scaffold. Even if the job will only last a very short time, the

scaffold should be erected as if you were going to use it indefinitely. Make sure you install all the cross braces both vertically and horizontally, be sure the scaffold is built on a level surface and fully decked, and don’t forget to provide proper access. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s specifications when erecting.

Ladders – Select the right ladder for the job. Is it the right size, did you tie it off, did you inspect it prior to use? Always face the ladder when you climb and avoid carrying tools in your hands when climbing — one slip could send you down — use a hand line or pouch for the tools. Never stand on the top two steps. Remember the three-point contact rule.

Floor Openings – Any floor opening measuring 10 inches across or larger must be covered or protection provided by a standard guardrail with toeboard. A cover must be large enough and strong enough to prevent failure and be marked so that everyone on the job will be aware of its purpose. Guardrails must meet minimum strength requirements. Toeboards will prevent tools or materials from falling through the opening and injuring workers below.

Stairways – Slow down — don’t run up or down. Avoid carrying objects that block your view of the steps. To help eliminate falls on stairways take your time, look where you step, and use the handrail. Keep stairways free of clutter to prevent tripping.

Housekeeping – A secure footing is a positive step in avoiding falls and good housekeeping is essential to secure footing. Debris, trash, oil and water left to accumulate on stairs, walkways etcetera, will lead to certain falls. A clean worksite is a safer worksite.

Watch your step! Stay alert!

Avoidance and prevention is your first line of defence.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SLIPPERY SURFACES AND WALKWAYS.

WINTER’S FROST, SNOW & ICE INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF SLIPPING.

Prevent Falls

Please stand here foot sign
Need Toolbox Talks Slips Trips and Falls? Here you go — several below that you’re sure to love!

Each year, falls result in many serious injuries. Let’s spend the next few minutes talking about where falls occur and what we can do to prevent them.

HOUSEKEEPING

Good footing is the best way to avoid falls and good housekeeping is the best way to ensure good footing. Scrap lumber, trash, wire, and slippery areas caused by water, grease, or oil, can cause falls.

LADDERS

Taking ladders for granted has caused many falls. Many workers believe that they can use any ladder for any job. To be safe, however, select a ladder that suits the purpose. Be sure it is in good condition and that you place it securely. Keep both hands free for climbing and always face the ladder when going up or down. Don’t carry tools with you.

SCAFFOLDS

A scaffold should be solidly constructed like a permanent structure, even if it will be used for only a short time. Be sure uprights are uniformly spaced, plumb, and set on a good foundation. Use mudsills. Use horizontal or diagonal bracing to give stability. Provide guardrails and toeboards to help prevent falls. Inspect planking before installation. Whenever you’re on a single-point or a two-point suspended scaffold, wear your safety gear or equipment. Be sure it’s tied to a secure independent lifeline.

FLOOR AND WALL OPENINGS

Depending on their size, cover floor openings or protect them with standard guardrails and toeboards. Also, protect wall openings, except for doorways and stairways through which persons could fall. This protection should be substantial and secured to prevent displacement.

STAIRWAYS

Running, carrying objects that block your view failure to use handrails, or just not paying attention

causes falls on stairways. Watch your step and concentrate on what you are doing.

Remember, it’s not the fall that hurts. It’s the sudden stop.

Fall Causes

Yellow plastic cone with sign showing warning of wet floor

Injury due to falls is a major problem in construction today.

Falls are placed in two categories:

1. Falls on the same level.

2. Falls from different elevation.

First, let’s look at some of the causes of falls on the same level such as slipping, tripping, and bumping into.

  • Slipping could be due to ice on the walk, oil or grease on the floor, a banana peel left over from lunch, a small piece of pipe, a soft drink bottle, or a welding rod stub, just to name a few. We can avoid these hazards in two ways; first, we must practice good housekeeping by keeping our work areas clean and orderly; second, we must be alert and watch our step.
  • An irregular surface, lines or hoses can cause tripping across walkways, tools not in their proper place, poor lighting, and many others. The rules for avoiding tripping hazards are much the same as for slipping hazards; that is, practicing good housekeeping, watching your step, and in addition, keep your safety boots in good condition. Bad soles and heels have caused many falls.
  • Falls caused by bumping into also result in serious injuries. We should be especially careful in hallways, warehouses, and places where blind corners exist. We sometimes get in too much of a hurry; maybe we are late in the morning or in a hurry to get home in the evening. In this rush we go around a corner too fast and collide with another person and we go spinning.

Falls from different elevation are usually more serious than falls on the same level. These too, can be caused by slipping and tripping but are also caused by many other factors such as misjudging a step or a grab bar on a piece of heavy equipment, over-reaching a ladder or scaffold, not tying a ladder off properly, faulty handrails on scaffolds, not using safety belts when we should; you can name many more.

SLIPS & FALLS

Toolbox Talks Slips Trips and Falls

Slips and falls are one of the most frequent causes of incidents, both on and off the job. To avoid getting hurt from falls, avoid rushing and remember the following:

WATCH WHERE YOU WALK

Be aware of where you are walking. Look down continuously for spilled liquids, materials, equipment, changing surface levels, etc. Make sure the area is well lit or use a flashlight if lighting is poor.

WEAR PROPER FOOTWEAR

Make sure your boots are in good shape and correct for the job. Discard worn-out boots with smooth soles and other defects. If conditions are wet and slippery, wear non-slip boots. Avoid footwear with leather soles, which have poor floor traction–especially on smooth surfaces.

CHECK FLOOR OPENINGS

Avoid unguarded floor openings. On construction sites, when covers are placed over floor openings, avoid walking on the cover unless it is secure and will not move or collapse. Never jump over pits or other openings.

BE CAREFUL ON STAIRS

Do not run when going up or down stairs. Ensure stair treads are in good shape, with no obstructions on the steps. Always use the hand railings that are provided. Avoid carrying large loads when going up or down stairs and ensure that stairs are well lit.

USE LADDERS CORRECTLY

Never use broken or defective ladders. Set the angle of the ladder at the proper four-to-one ratio (height to width angle). Make sure the ladder is on solid footing and will not move when you climb upon it. Whenever possible, tie your ladder to the structure to improve stability. Anchorage at the bottom is also a good idea. Never stand on the top two steps of a stepladder.

MAKE SURE SCAFFOLDING IS SAFE TO USE

When working on scaffolding, make sure it is secure, stable and properly set-up. Do not work on scaffolding if guardrails are missing or the base is unstable. Check to see that planks are in good shape and not cracked. Tall scaffolds should be tied into a structure to increase stability.

DON’T JUMP OUT OF VEHICLES

Never jump from equipment or vehicles. Use the handrail and steps provided, remembering the “three-point rule.” Avoid stepping onto loose rocks, slippery surfaces, oil spills, etc.

Watch your step and don’t trip yourself up! Remember, Gravity Always Wins!

Toolbox Talks Slips Trips and Falls For You!

Sign showing warning of caution wet floor

Each year slips and falls injure too many workers. Slipping on the floor is bad enough, but falling from a height can be disastrous. How can falls be prevented? STAY ALERT!

When working at heights, proper guardrails must be used and, where necessary, safety lifelines, lanyards and harnesses must be properly tied off to the structure.

Scaffolding must rest on firm footing with all the bracing installed. When using multi-level staging, the scaffolding must also be anchored to the structure. Scaffold-grade cleated planks, completely covering the working level, are a necessity.

Orderliness plays a big part in preventing slips and falls. Debris lying around on floors and working areas is an open invitation to accidents. Weather increases hazards, particularly in winter when debris becomes snow covered and cannot be seen. Ice conditions create additional dangers. Sand and/or calcium should be applied to icy areas.

Wet weather causes muddy boots, which contribute in turn to slips, and falls. Wipe your boots before climbing steps or entering a work area.

When climbing a ladder, hold on with both hands. When walking downstairs, use the guardrail.

REMEMBER! Your eyes are your best defense against slips and falls. Watch your step and look where you are going.

Need more toolbox talks slips trips and falls topics? Click here for more.

Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping

Need toolbox talks on housekeeping? You’ve come to the right place! Here are a few toolbox talks on housekeeping that you will find very helpful. Remember to share these topics with your crew. Also, we recommend editing our general messaging to ensure it’s suitable for your own work taking place.

Housekeeping is Orderliness on the Job

Man worker in the field by the solar panels
Here are some Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping that you will enjoy.

Have you noticed that on a clean work site, where materials are piled properly and debris is removed daily, the job seems to go much better?

Poor housekeeping around the job is double trouble: it breeds inefficiency and accidents. The primary responsibility for good housekeeping rests with the superintendent, but everyone has an obligation to keep his work area clean.

As you are doing your job, don’t let debris pile up underfoot — remove it at regular intervals. It will speed up your production and lessen your exposure to injury. Moreover, you are required to do so by law. Subcontractors have a big part to play in job orderliness. Stopping to clean up never wastes time. It has to be done sometime, so why not do it when it will benefit you most? It is much easier to work in a clean area than one cluttered with material and scrap.

One part of job orderliness is to remove nails from lumber as you go. By removing or flattening nails at the time, you won’t have to handle the material again and you can prevent a foot injury as well. When setting up machinery or stacking materials, do not use an aisle, passageway or entrance that will prevent or inhibit other people from doing their work or having safe passage.

Remember, a clean job is a safe job!

A Toolbox Talk Reminder About How Poor Housekeeping Creates Tripping Hazards

man trips and falls
Experience a slip, trip and fall at work? Here are Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping that can help prevent that in the future.

As each of us works throughout the job site, our daily needs require extension cords, air compressor hoses, cutting torch hoses and welding leads. Each of these cords or hoses acts as an umbilical cord providing us with the necessary electricity, compressed air, acetylene, oxygen, grounds for welding, and power for the welding stinger. The danger here is that any of these leads can become tangled and creates tripping hazards if they are not placed properly before you start work.

We must take the time to run them underneath walkways, overhead if needed, away from access doors and ramps, and away from pinch points. Leads and hoses are subject to cuts, abrasions, puncture and plain old normal wear and tear. Remember to run leads, cords and hoses out of the way, cover them properly and most of all do not let them become tripping hazards.

Many other objects around the work area are just as dangerous. Have you ever stepped on a screwdriver or a short piece of pipe and felt your feet about to slip out from under you? Did you ever trip over a shovel carelessly left on the ground? Have you ever thought of how well a wire snare works in catching small or large animals? How about your foot?! We must take time to pick up pieces of tie wire, if not, you may be the next one that is snared.

All of the above can be solved if we do a little housekeeping while we work. Cleaning up at the end of the job is fine, in fact, it is essential, but job cleanup is not a one-shot proposition, it is a continuous operation. It is an important factor in construction efficiency and in the prevention of work injuries. Remember these tips — store material and tools neatly cleanup scrap as work progresses, keep walkways clear at all times, and take care of your tools Do not leave them where they will cause you or others to fall.

Toolbox Talk About Housekeeping — it is an Important Part of Work

construction worker practicing good housekeeping
Some additional Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping below — keep reading!

Your employer is not your mother! What do I mean by that, you ask? I mean, just like when you were young, your mother had to remind you to pick up after yourself. Now that you are on your own, you still need to be told sometimes. Housekeeping is a very important part of your job. Not only does it improve the overall appearance of your shop or work area, it shows that you take pride in where you work. The best way that you can help keep your workplace clean is to pick up after yourself! Don’t leave it for the next shift or another craft to worry about.

Here are some reasons to keep your work area clean:

  • You reduce trip and fall hazards.
  • Increased production. You won’t have to waste time looking for a misplaced tool. You will always know where your tools are when you put them where they belong after you use them.
  • If someone falls because of materials you left on the floor, you will feel guilty because you were a causal factor in the accident. Also, the injured worker may want to remind you of that!
  • You reduce a potential fire hazard by removing unneeded combustibles from the work area.

Here are some tips to maintain a clean work area:

  • Plan the job. Make a list of the needed tools/materials. This will help to minimize unnecessary clutter around your work area.
  • Develop a routine for cleaning up at the end of the shift or periodically during the shift.
  • Do not allow workers to eat, drink or smoke in the work area, not only because of litter problems, but also because of hygiene concerns.
  • This is not, by all means, all-inclusive. The point I am trying to make is to take responsibility for yourself and your work area! Remember, a clean work area is a productive work area and enhances safety!

Don’t Overlook Housekeeping at Work – Remind Crews with this Toolbox Talk

Worker cleaning the street
You can never have enough Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping – see below for more.

“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” Never has this phrase been so true as when it comes to housekeeping at work. The negative impressions and implications of poor housekeeping can affect you and co-workers for a long time to come. Morale is lowered for most people who must function every day in a messy, disorderly work environment, although they may not be aware of the cause.

Safety is an even more critical issue. If your housekeeping habits are poor, the result may be worker injuries-or even death and even difficulty in securing future work. How can such a “minor” issue have such serious consequences?

Here are some results of poor housekeeping practices:

  • Injuries, when workers trip, fall, strike or are struck by out-of-place objects
  • Injuries from using improper tools because the correct tool can’t be found
  • Lowered production because of the time spent manoeuvring over and around someone else’s mess, and time spent looking for proper tools and materials
  • Time spent investigating and reporting accidents that could have been avoided
  • Fires due to improper storage and disposal of flammable or combustible materials and wastes
  • Substandard quality of finished products because of production schedule delays, damaged or defective finishes, ill-equipped workers, etc.
  • Lack of future work due to a reputation for poor quality

General housekeeping rules to remember are:

  • Clean up after yourself. Pick up your trash and debris and dispose of it properly or place it where it will not pose a hazard to others. Institute a routine cleaning schedule.
  • Keep your work area clean throughout the day. This will minimize the amount of time needed to clean a “larger mess” at the end of the day.
  • Dispose of combustibles and flammables properly. If improperly discarded, they will increase the potential for a fire.
  • Remove protruding nails and other sharp objects or hammer them flat to prevent someone from stepping on them or snagging themselves.
  • Stack materials and supplies orderly and secure them so they won’t topple.

Do you value your health and safety, your work reputation, as well as your future employment? If you do, practice these general housekeeping rules.

An uncluttered workplace shows respect for those who work there.

Help keep it that way!

Housekeeping on the Job

Worker cleaning floor with air high pressure machine - Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping
Looking for Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping? Here’s another one you’ll enjoy.

You have a pretty good idea how safe a job is just by looking at it before you start to work. Even a “Sidewalk Superintendent” knows this. A job that looks clean, with everything in its place, is a safe job. That’s all we mean when we talk about job housekeeping. Good housekeeping calls for just two things.

Try to remember them:

FIRST: Keep trash and loose objects picked up and dispose of them.

SECOND: Pile all materials and park all tools and equipment in the places where they belong.

These are the fundamentals of good housekeeping and they’re simple enough. If we don’t follow these two rules, we’re letting ourselves in for trouble.

Putting the rules to work is not so simple. A grand cleanup once a week won’t do the trick. Housekeeping is a job that can’t be put off. We have to do it. It’s up to each individual to be his or her own job housekeeper.

When you see something lying around where it could trip an individual or fall on them, put it in a safe place. Don’t wait for someone else to do it. If it’s something that he or she will be looking for, you can put it safely where they can see it.

You’ve seen jobs, and probably worked on some, where it wasn’t safe to put your foot down without first looking twice to be sure you weren’t going to twist an ankle or run a nail through your shoe. A job like that is poorly run, badly managed. Probably it’s losing money as well as causing accidents.

Some jobs have walkways, aisles, stairs, and ladders by which you get from one place to another. It’s particularly important that these lines of travel be kept safe and clear of loose objects. Workers often carry loads on these routes. They can’t always pick their steps or look around to be sure that nothing is going to trip them or fall on them.

A wet or greasy walkway may cause a bad accident. If you see a treacherous spot, make it your business to do some sweeping, mopping or scraping.

Brick, tile, pipe, steel rods and similar materials scattered about the job or insecurely piled on scaffolds or platforms can cause accidents. All material should be piled in the place set aside for it. Each kind of material has its own characteristic. But some rules for piling apply to all kinds:

First, you have to consider how the material is going to be taken out of the pile. If it’s going to be a fast-moving operation with a big tonnage being unloaded in a short time, be sure to leave space for the worker and the equipment that will have to do the work.

Be courteous. Never pile material in such a way that it will endanger a worker who has to work on it or will make a backbreaking job for the worker who breaks down the pile.

Other points to think about are:

1. The strength of the support if you’re piling material on a floor, platform or scaffold.

2. The stability of the ground if you’re piling a heavy load.

3. The height of the pile so it won’t topple.

4. The need for building racks if it’s pipe or rods you have to stack.

5. The wisdom of waiting for the proper equipment to handle structural steel and other heavy material.

We all know the value of good lighting in job housekeeping. Poor lighting and accidents go together. When you find a light out, report it and get a replacement.

It’s not hard to keep a job clean if all useless material, boxes, scrap lumber, and other trash are picked up and removed regularly. Remember, if they’re allowed to accumulate for even a few days, the job becomes a messy and unsafe place to work.

A Clean Job is a Safe Job

Worker cleaning his work area - Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping
A clean job is a safe job. Here are some Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping that can help prevent a future incident.

‘A clean job is a safe job’ is an old saying that has been around for many years. You may or may not agree completely with the saying, but if you have ever worked at a construction project that was cluttered with scrap material, you do know that good housekeeping plays a big part in maintaining a safe worksite.

Housekeeping requires that during the course of construction, alteration, or repairs, form and scrap lumber with protruding nails, and all other debris, must be kept cleared from work areas, passageways, and stairs in and around buildings or other structures. Combustible scrap and debris must be removed at regular intervals during the course of construction. Safe means must be provided to facilitate such removal. Containers must be provided for the collection and separation of waste, trash, oily and used rags, and other refuse. Containers used for garbage and other oily, flammable, or hazardous wastes, such as caustics, acids, harmful dusts, etc. must be equipped with covers. Garbage and other waste must be disposed of at frequent and regular intervals.

Housekeeping starts at the beginning of the shift and needs to continue throughout the entire workday. Don’t let scrap materials build up — dispose of them daily. Another common housekeeping problem arises with the use of welding leads, air compressor hoses, and extension cords. If placed improperly they become tripping hazards. Keep walkways free for passage.

When stripping forms remember to pull the nails out or bend them over. A protruding nail can cause a nasty puncture wound. Scrap cardboard and packing materials left lying around provide excellent fuel for fires. Pop cans, lunch bags and food scraps or wrappers will attract rodents. Avoid potential fire and health hazards by disposing of these items properly. Housekeeping is a never-ending process. Do your part by keeping your work area and adjacent walkways and stairs clean and orderly.

No doubt about it – if everyone does his or her share, good housekeeping will make Your Job a Safer Job!

Housekeeping at Work

Man in coveralls doing vacuum cleaning
Good Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping are hard to find, which is why you’ll love this one!

Good housekeeping is the first law of incident prevention and should be a primary concern of all supervisors, foremen and the entire workforce. Poor housekeeping often results in unsafe conditions and also implies that the project is poorly managed, and the work being done lacks professionalism. Many incidents and injuries charged to other causes are actually caused by unsafe conditions due to poor housekeeping.

A safe worker knows he can do his best work easier and more quickly if good housekeeping is maintained. Learning the habit of good housekeeping takes practice. The familiar expression ‘a

place for everything and everything in its place’ will assist you in your efforts.

Materials left on the job should be stored in a central location and if possible, stacked out of the way. When cleaning up be sure that all combustible materials are disposed of properly to curtail the possibility of fires. Tripping incident’s can be reduced significantly by frequent clean-ups.

Make it a habit to remove or bend over all nails protruding from scrap lumber to protect against puncture wounds. Sharp-edged and pointed tools should be stored in such a way as to prevent injuries.

Each member of the crew has a responsibility to insure good housekeeping in all phases of his or her work. It’s a lot easier to pick up as you work instead of waiting for the end of the shift. The importance of the relationship between an orderly job and a safe job cannot be over stressed.

We can have clean, well appearing, incident free jobs only if we really want them and insist at everyone cooperates. Good housekeeping requires constant effort and vigilance to make certain the job and equipment are kept in good condition. Are you doing your part?

Remember, good housekeeping promotes safety in the workplace, improves performance, protects you and the public, and just makes good sense.

Need more toolbox talks on housekeeping? Click here for more.

Remember, you can never have enough Toolbox Talks on Housekeeping, so here’s a few more you may enjoy: click here.

Graphic: Inspect Ladders Before Use

This graphic provides a great reminder about the importance of inspecting all ladders before use.

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How To Use This Graphic

Feel free to use this graphic in any of your safety documents (toolbox talks, safety meetings, etc.). Simply right click on the image, and select “copy image”. Then navigate to your document and paste it in. You can also save this image to your computer by right clicking on it and selecting “save as”.

Need more toolbox talks about ladders? Click here for 5 that you’ll love!

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Use Three-Point Contact on a Ladder

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When we use ladders regularly on the job, we may be tempted to take a few risks to make the job a little faster. This graphic provides a nice refresher on how to use ladders safely.

How To Use This Graphic

Feel free to use this graphic in any of your safety documents (toolbox talks, safety meetings, etc.). Simply right click on the image, and select “copy image”. Then navigate to your document and paste it in. You can also save this image to your computer by right clicking on it and selecting “save as”.

Need toolbox talks about ladder safety? Click here for more!

Damaged Ladder Infographic++

Damaged ladders can create a real safety issue on the job. So, what should you do when you encounter this challenge at work? Here’s an infographic to remind you!

How To Use This Graphic

Feel free to use this graphic in any of your safety documents (toolbox talks, safety meetings, etc.). Simply right click on the image, and select “copy image”. Then navigate to your document and paste it in. You can also save this image to your computer by right clicking on it and selecting “save as”.

For more graphics click here.

Toolbox Talks Ladders Topics

Looking for toolbox talks ladders topics? We have you covered! Below you will find 5 that you will find useful to share during your next safety meeting. As always, we encourage you to edit our general contents to ensure it’s specific to your own work conditions.

A Toolbox Talk About Being Safe While Using Ladders

Be safe while using a ladder
Here are some Toolbox Talks ladders topics. Feel free to share with your crew.

Whether you’re working with a ladder at home or on the job, there are some key safety tips you should keep in mind. Please review the list below to minimize hazards associated with ladder use.

  • Inspect all ladders BEFORE USE for deficiencies like broken rungs, rails and footing pads (so they don’t slip).
  • If you’re using an extension ladder, check the pulleys, ropes and locks for signs of wear.
  • Remove any damaged ladders from service. If the ladder is unable to be repaired, make sure it’s properly disposed of.
  • Be sure the ground is stable when setting up a ladder. It shouldn’t be located on a muddy surface, as this could result in a slip.
  • Don’t use any materials (i.e. bricks) to raise the height of the ladder. Remember, if the ladder isn’t tall enough, then it’s not the right ladder. Get a new one.
  • Make sure the ladder reaches at least 3 feet above the point of support, and that it’s properly secured.
  • Using a step ladder? Make sure the folding cross braces are locked before you use it.
  • While ascending a ladder, face it and have both hands free so you can grasp it properly. Don’t carry tools in your hand – use a tool belt or pull them up with a rope after you’re done using the ladder.
  • Practice three points of contact, which means having two hands and one foot (or two feet and one hand) on the ladder while using.
  • You should keep your body between the side rails of the ladder, as this will minimize the change of tipping/falling.
  • You shouldn’t climb higher than the third rung from the top of the ladder.

We know there’s a lot there to remember, but when you practice safety while working with a ladder, you reduce your chances of an injury.

Ladder Safety Tips Toolbox Talk

ladder safety tips toolbox talk
Here are some Toolbox Talks ladders topics. Don’t forget to edit the contents so it’s specific to your own work conditions.

When you think of a terrible injury while on the job, you probably don’t think a ladder could be involved in such an accident, right? We understand – it seems like such a basic task to engage in. However, what you may fail to realize is that people get into accidents all the time while using ladders. So, what do you need to remember to stay safe?

#1: Inspect Ladders Before Use

During your inspection, look for things like:

  • Loose or missing rungs
  • Loose nails, bolts or screws
  • Worn/damaged rungs or side rails
  • Corrosion of metal ladders

Remember, if you find a damaged ladder that shouldn’t be used, report it and remove from service. If the ladder can’t be repaired, make sure it’s properly disposed of.

#2: Use the Right Ladder

Before starting your task, determine the type of ladder you need to use. Here are some tips to be mindful of while selecting one:

  • Make sure ladders are long enough to properly complete the job
  • Don’t create hazards with ladders by setting them up in high traffic areas such as doorways or walkways – as people may run into them.
  • Keep ladder landing areas free of debris or material that could create a tripping hazard.
  • Never attempt to increase the height of ladders by using boxes, barrels, bricks or other materials.
  • Make sure the ladder is located on stable ground.
  • Be sure that your boots are clean before using a ladder – things like oil, grease or even mud can cause you to slip.
  • Face the ladder and hold with both hands while ascending or descending.
  • Don’t carry tools or materials in your hands, and this will impact your ability to practice three-points of contact.
  • Don’t reach or lean off a ladder, as this could cause the ladder to move or tip.
  • Never use the ladder while someone else is. Ladders are designed to hold one person at a time. Multiple people could cause it to tip.

Work Safely with Ladders

work safely with ladders
When working with ladders, you can never be too safe. Check out the Toolbox Talk below and share with your crew.

Are you working regularly with ladders? If yes, it’s important to note that they are NOT work platforms, but are designed to provide access from one level to another. When you’re working at a higher level, be sure to check with your employer about when a safety harness is required. If you’re required to wear one, please use a proper tie-off point (not the ladder).

Secure ladders on the top and the bottom to make sure it doesn’t slip or tip over. It should always be setup on stable, even and solid ground. You should also have a co-worker hold the ladder. Remember to look around for hazards that may be present in the area before setting up a ladder. Watch for things like overhead wires or energized electrical equipment.

It’s very important that you practice three points of contact while using a ladder. Failure to do so can result in a fall.

You should also inspect ladders before use. If you find a ladder with damaged rungs or other parts, it must be replaced or properly disposed of. Keep in mind that aluminum ladders are light so they can be damaged easier if mishandled.

Ladders Everywhere Toolbox Talk

toolbox talk about ladders in a work area
All ladders are different, and you need to be safe while using any of them.

We use ladders for many jobs including while building or roofing a home, and more! They help us get from one level to another safely. If you’re a painter, plumber, or sheet rock professional, you will probably use ladder of all sizes.

Four of the most common types of ladders are:

  1. Straight ladder
  2. Fixed ladder
  3. Extension ladder
  4. Step ladder

It’s easy to take ladder use for granted – it’s a basic task, and therefore, there shouldn’t be any safety concerns, right? Well, this can be true if they are used correctly. So, how can you ensure you use ladders safely? Here’s some tips:

  • Select the right length of ladder needed for the job
  • Inspect a ladder before use – which includes checking for damaged rungs, or side rails.
  • Check for hazards in the area like power lines overhead.
  • Be sure the ladder extends at least 3 feet above the landing area, and you should also tie it off to prevent tipping.
  • Make sure the ladder is setup on stable and even ground, so it doesn’t fall.
  • Use both hands while climbing, and always face forward.
  • Hoist any tools or materials instead of carrying them so you can practice three-point contact while using the ladder.

Safety Toolbox Talk About ALL Ladder Types

step ladder in a work area
Lots of ladders, that’s for sure! How can you stay safe at work? Check out the toolbox talk below and find out.

Ladders can be extremely helpful tools while on the job. They allow us to reach higher levels, or even get to lower levels (i.e. trenches). As you know, a ladder consists of two side rails joined at regular intervals by rungs (or steps, cleats, etc.). People use these as a means of travelling up or down a ladder.

There are many types of ladders including: fixed ladders, extension ladders, and step ladders to name a few. They can be made using various types of materials including metal, wood, or even fibreglass.

Fixed Ladders

A fixed ladder is not adjustable in terms of its length, and it’s attached to a structure. It’s not self-supporting or portable like most ladders.

Step Ladders

A step ladder is self-supporting and portable but aren’t adjustable in length.

Extension Ladders

While extending the ladder to desired height, make sure the extension hooks are being utilized.

When selecting a ladder, always consider its capacity, height and footing requirements, and if it will be used in an indoor or outdoor area. Check the rungs to make sure they aren’t damaged. Setup the ladder on solid and even ground and make sure it’s in good condition and safe for use.

Looking for more toolbox topics? Click here to read about Forklift Safety.

Toolbox Talks Machine Guarding Topics

Looking for toolbox talks machine guarding topics? Well, here are 3 that you’re sure to appreciate. Feel free to copy and paste these messages below and read at your next toolbox meeting. As always, we like to remind readers to customize our general messages so they are more specific to your own work taking place.

Machine Safeguard Requirements

Gears and cogwheels
Here are toolbox talks machine guarding topics below.

How can you prevent lacerations and amputations? Well, one major step towards this is placing (and keeping) guards on machinery. What does this mean? Well, here’s a short breakdown to clarify:

  • If the machine has grinding, shearing, punching, pressing, squeezing or cutting capabilities, they must be guarded. Doing so will help protect workers from the danger zone, which are areas that could create pinch point hazards.
  • Projections such as keys, set screws, etc. can create a hazard that isn’t guarded by the machine. These must be guarded (or at least made flush), even if they can be a nuisance sometimes. Remember, this simple act can help save fingers, hands and arms, so better safe than sorry.

Characteristics of Machine Safeguards

Prevent Contact: An effective safeguard will prevent hands, arms (or any part of a worker’s body) from coming into contact with moving parts that could be dangerous. Remember, the guard should prevent accidental contact, but also prevent workers from bypassing it intentionally as well.

Secure: Is your safeguard easy to remove? If yes, then rest assured, it will be ineffective at providing the right protection to workers. Guards should also be bolted or screwed on so that the only way they can be removed is with the use of tools. Don’t forget that guards should be made of a durable material.

Don’t Create NEW Hazards: Is your guard creating new hazards like sharp edges? Could the guard cause lacerations to those working around it? Remember, the safeguard should be installed in such a way that it doesn’t create a hazard.

No Interference: Is the guard preventing workers from performing their work comfortably? If yes, you will need to find a better safeguard option.

Allow for Safe Maintenance: All equipment will require some maintenance over time. Workers should be able to handle this work on the machinery without removing the safeguards. If this isn’t possible and you must remove the guards, please remember to follow proper lockout procedures to ensure you’re not exposed to a dangerous hazard.

To summarize, guards are on machinery for a reason – and they are meant to protect you, so you don’t get injured. Please respect guards and don’t remove them.

Machine Safeguard Reminders

Gear cutting machine safety reminders

Machinery is everywhere – and it’s been like this for years. What would we do without it? Machinery has become so important to us that it’s being improved to increase productivity, which makes production much more affordable. As great as machine are, we all need to remember that if they are misused, they can be extremely harmful. Think about it – if a machine can cut something as strong as metal, what can it do to your fingers? Eeks! These types of injuries can end your career and cause a lot of pain and suffering.

So, how can you prevent injury associated with machine use? Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind each day as you conduct your work:

  1. Be alert to danger point on machines including:
    1. The point of operation: This area is where the machine work take place – where the pressing, cutting, and punching happens. These places aren’t areas where you ever want your body to be. If this happens, the force of the machine can cause a serious injury. Operation points can also create flying sparks or fragments, which is another reason why safety glasses are important.
    1. The power train: This point is where energy is transferred through moving parts (i.e. gears, shafts, belts, cables, etc.). Your body should NEVER be in these areas! If you’re working with this type of machinery and you need to do repairs, please make sure you follow all lockout/tagout procedures. Also, make sure any guards that you removed during the repair are replaced. If workers notice a missing guard on machinery, they must report it to their Supervisor immediately.
    1. Material handling equipment danger points: Maybe this equipment isn’t considered to be production machinery, but it still poses danger if used incorrectly. Their points of operation and power train can be extremely hazardous. All workers using these machines MUST BE properly trained – no exceptions.

As you work with machinery each day, please remember that as a worker you must control machines carefully. Here are some important things to remember to prevent injury during your shift:

  • Machines should always be anchored to prevent it from tipping – especially while engaged in work that creates excessive vibration or movement.
  • Don’t reach blindly into machinery. There could be energized parts that could cause injury!
  • Ensure there is adequate lighting in the area so you can see all points of operation on the machine.
  • Remove watches, rings and belt buckles away from machinery, as they could get caught up in it (and act as a source of conduction around electrical parts).
  • Make sure your hands are dry before plugging or unplugging any machinery.
  • Always follow proper lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for the job.

Please remember that mechanical hazards can cause serious injury. It’s important that you’re aware of danger zones associated with the operation of machinery, and respect those areas to prevent getting hurt on the job.

Cutting Machines: Toolbox Talks Machine Guarding Safety

Machine guarding is important for safety
More toolbox talks machine guarding topics below — keep reading!

Cutting machines are very common in most workplaces. They are used to work on metal, wood or other materials. They can cut, saw, or grind. The part of the machine that shapes or removes the material is considered the point of operation. These areas should be avoided – if they can bend, shape or cut strong materials, they can do very serious damage to your body. In fact, injuries from these types of machines are generally more severe than those from powered hand tools. This is why it’s crucial to assess the potential hazards of the equipment you use. IF you find hazards, take immediate action to eliminate or mitigate them BEFORE starting the task. If you’re feeling like this may take too much time, it’s helpful to think about the consequences of engaging in risky behavior. Ask yourself what that hazard can do to your body, and if that’s something you want to experience – you probably don’t want to experience an amputation.

Injuries can happen quickly, and often result from workers getting too close to powered machinery. It may seem harmless to hold a part, remove chips or make a quick adjustment, but be aware that these simple acts can cause crushing injuries or lacerations. So, what type of safeguards can prevent these horrific injuries?

  • Operator training
  • More supervision
  • Improve procedures for working around machinery
  • More awareness of emergency stops
  • Improve operator controls
  • More lighting

Before starting any work with a machine, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I using this machine properly and in the way it was designed to be used?
  • Will I have to reach into the danger area for any reason?
  • Are the controls easy to identify and use?
  • Is there protection from accidental start-up?
  • Are guards or safety devices provided?
  • Are these guards well maintained?
  • Has proper housekeeping been conducted in the area?
  • Is there enough lighting?
  • Are there lockout procedures I need to follow?
  • Is my clothing safe to wear while operating or working around the equipment?
  • Do I need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
  • Are workers properly trained?

By taking a few moments to assess the hazards associated with work around machines, you may prevent you or your co-workers from getting injured.

Toolbox Talks Machine Guarding Safety for Power Press

Image for toolbox talks machine guarding topics

Metal press machinery makes short work of punching through tough materials like steel. It’s very powerful machine, which is why it also has the potential to cause serious injuries. Power presses have many safety features including guards, barriers, and even presence sensing devices!

If you get injured with a power press machine, it will more than likely be serious, as these machines are unforgiving. So, if you operate a power press, how can you do so safely? Well, here’s a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have proper training to operate the machine.
  • Understand how to identify and use all safety controls on the machine.
  • Familiarize yourself with safety guards
  • Use the equipment properly
  • Avoid pinch points on the machine
  • Remove jammed items safely and follow procedures
  • Know how to lockout the machine if you have to do some maintenance on it.
  • Keep the work area around the machine clean.
  • Report all problems to your Supervisor.

As a Supervisor, you must be even more knowledgeable about power press machines. Make sure you’re aware of:

  • The equipment’s proper guard adjustment
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Safe operating procedures
  • Safety devices are in place and functioning properly

Please remember that power press machinery is dangerous, which is why safety devices are present. You must never try to bypass the safety guards in place – they are there to protect you. An injury from this machine is something you don’t want to experience, so think of the consequences before altering guards that are in place to keep you safe.

Need more toolbox talks? No problem! Click here for some electrical safety messages.

Toolbox Talks Forklift Safety

When working with or around forklifts, there are always hazards that could present themselves. It’s for this reason that we need to practice safety at all times. Here are some toolbox talks forklift safety topics that you can share with your crew.

Pallet Safety Toolbox Talk

Forklift operator worker

What is a pallet? Well, simply stated, it’s support for freight. Since it’s support, it can take a lot of abuse, which also results in wear and tear. Over time, many pallets become so worn out that they should be discarded, but most times they aren’t. In fact, sometimes they are even left in a corner and used as a last resort. This is definitely not a good idea, especially since it’s not uncommon to hear that a pallet has broken, and freight has fallen from it. This is extremely dangerous because not only can it lead to broken equipment – people working in the area can get injured or even die.

So, how can you work safely around palletized loads? We have included a few important safety tips below:

  • Inspect your pallets regularly for cracks, weakness and damage. If you find one that is damaged, mark it unsafe for use to prevent any potential problems.
  • Make sure pallet loads are centred and balanced.
  • If there are several loose items, the load should be secured with shrink-wrap or banding.
  • Be cautious while stacking multiple pallets. The stack should never learn due to weakness or damage. This could cause it to fall over completely.
  • Know the limit of the pallet jack or forklift you are using – neither should ever be overloaded.
  • Establish load limits and comply with them.
  • Forklifts should have an overhead cage or screen to protect drivers from any falling objects that may fall while being stacked.

You should always practice caution while working with pallets. Think ahead and have a proper pallet safety plan in place. Doing so can reduce possible injuries and save lives!

Toolbox Talks Forklift Safety Reminders

Toolbox Talk about forklift safety

Using a forklift may not seem difficult, but you may be surprised to learn that many workers suffer injuries while engaged in this task. How does this happen? Well, usually it results from poorly stacked materials that fall over and damage property or people. Remember, a lack of attention can cause safety challenges when stacking materials.

The number one issue is the stability of stacked materials – especially if it’s going to be moved with a forklift or pallet jack. The movement during transportation can cause it to fall if it’s already unstable. Even for stacks that aren’t going to be moved, you still need to be concerned about stability. An accidental bump could still cause something to fall.

So, how can you prevent issues associated with stacked materials? Here’s a few tips:

Make sure the load BASE is stable. If you want a load to be stable, then it all starts with the base being stable. Build the stack on a firm and level surface. If you’re using a pallet, make sure it’s in good shape. If it’s broken or worn, please don’t use it. This will only lead to trouble. Take a few minutes today to make sure your crew knows the difference between good and bad pallets.

Put the heaver/larger objects at the bottom. Before you do that, please check the printed instructions on the box that will tell you how many units can be stacked. This is important to prevent boxes below from being crushed due to the weight on top. If this happens, the stack will most definitely become unstable – it will also damage the items below. If you’re working with product that is bagged, please make sure the contents are evenly distributed in the bag before you lay it down. Doing so will create a flat surface for the next tier.

Be mindful of the stack’s weight. If you’re required to move this stack with a forklift or even a pallet jack, make sure the weight doesn’t exceed the capacity of the equipment. Also, take note of the weight bearing capacity of floors and shelves so you don’t exceed these either. You should also spread the weight out so it’s not just concentrated in one area.

General Forklift Safety Toolbox Talk

Forklift safety rules
This toolbox talk provides us with general forklift safety tips. Share with your crew!

If you’re an experienced forklift operator, then you know it takes skill and knowledge to complete this task safely and effectively. One of the most important things to remember that forklifts (and their operator) should be respected. Proper procedures should be used to minimize any chance of an injury. It will also make your job a lot easier too!

Inspect Before Use

Check all of these things to make sure it’s ready for use.

  • Is the engine oil and other fluid levels ok?
  • How is the tire pressure?
  • Do steering & hydraulic controls work properly?
  • Are warning devices functioning?
  • Are service & parking brakes working?
  • How is the battery level?
  • Any fluid leaks?
  • Is there tank securing devices?
  • Do gauges & instruments work ok?
  • How are the cable connections?
  • How is the Fuel level?
  • Are the lights working?
  • Are the seat belts ok?

General Forklift Safety Rules

Here are some great rules to follow to ensure you safely operate a forklift:

  • Only authorized operators can drive the forklift
  • Check the front and rear before starting
  • Never engage in stunt driving, speeding or horseplay
  • Don’t stand under raised forks
  • Keep your body within the forklift and fasten your seat belt
  • Do not walk between forks and any object
  • Maintain good vision of the area
  • Be aware of people and other vehicles in the area
  • Be cautious while turning, and stop at blind corners
  • Do not operate forklift with wet or greasy hands
  • Use proper and approved platforms when lifting personnel
  • Be cautious of overhead obstructions

Loading and Unloading

Not all forklifts are the same, and they may react differently when carrying a load. To avoid any challenges, please remember the following:

  • Don’t overload the forklift
  • Approach the load slowly and carefully
  • Keep the mast in vertical position
  • Approach load and drop-off area at the right angles
  • After the forklift is properly loaded, tilt the mast back to stabilize the load
  • Only raise the load enough to prevent dragging
  • Position the mast vertically over the unloading spot
  • Lower the load and reverse slowly, watch for rear swing and don’t drag the forks
  • When unloading trailers – chock wheels, set brakes & use jacks

Parking and Refueling Safety Reminders

Be cautious about unattended forklifts and potential fire hazards.

  • Always wear required PPE
  • Place the forks on the floor while refueling
  • Set the controls to “neutral” and turn the engine off
  • Remove the key
  • Do not overfill tanks
  • Replace the cap and clean any spilled fuel

Forklift Accidents: What Are They and How Do They Happen?

Forklift driver talking with his manager
It’s easy to become complacent while working around or with forklifts. The toolbox talk below reminds workers about how forklift accidents happen.

There are plenty of statistics online about the types of serious accidents that happen involving forklifts. We all know there are risks, but how and where do these accidents occur? Below are just a few situations that you should be mindful of.

Fatal forklift accident causes and where they occur:

  • Crushed by vehicle tipping over
  • Crushed between vehicle and a surface
  • Crushed between two vehicles
  • Struck or run over by a forklift
  • Struck by falling material
  • Fall from platform on the forks

How can we prevent these accidents?

One of the best things that can be done to prevent these incidents from happening is to roll out better training. No worker starts out with all the skills, knowledge and ability to safely operate a forklift. This is why proper training is crucial. Without being trained, you can easily injure yourself or co-workers in the area.

One thing to remember while operating a forklift is to keep the load low to increase vehicle stability. This can also help prevent the stack from tipping over. In the unfortunate event your forklift does tip, please don’t jump into the path of the toppled load. Doing so can cause even greater injury, as the load can land directly on top of you. You should stay inside the vehicle if it does tip. While this is scary, your injuries will be far less severe.

Operate Forklifts Safely

Warehouse goods being stacked with forklift
In construction, we all need Toolbox Talks Forklift Safety topics. This one below reminds us about the importance of operating forklifts safely while on the job.

If you’re tasked with material handling while at work, then you’ve more than likely had to use a forklift (or at least worked around them). Forklifts can be very helpful when involved in material handling, however, they can also be very dangerous.

Being a forklift operator is serious business. In fact, you need to be properly trained before ever using one. You should also remember some general safety guidelines before operation:

Reminders for Operators

  • It is the responsibility of the operator to be in complete charge of their vehicle.
  • Operators must conduct a general safety checks of the vehicle, load, and equipment before use
  • Check for other workers or pedestrians in the area before driving.
  • The person operating the forklift MUST be qualified – this will be determined by Supervision, and experience and training will be taken into consideration.
  • You need to wear PPE including hardhat, safety glasses, hearing protection and safety shoes as required.
  • Horseplay is prohibited.
  • Report all accidents immediately.

Be Safe in Traffic

While operating a forklift, be sure to observe the usual traffic rules and regulations, which includes:

  • Drive the speed limit for the area.
  • Slow down at intersections, corners, and ramps.
  • Leave plenty of space between forklifts when moving.
  • Sound your horn in blind spots
  • While turning, be careful that you don’t cut too short.
  • Be mindful of wet and slippery surfaces while driving.
  • Give pedestrians the right of way.
  • Stop at all stop signs.
  • Do not block traffic when you are parked.
  • Park with the forks lowered to the ground.

Pedestrian Safety Around Forklifts

Smiling warehouse worker and forklift driver
Need Toolbox Talks Forklift Safety topics? The message below reminds pedestrians to be safe around forklifts.

Forklifts are a large part of any industrial operation, so you’ve more than likely operated one or at least worked around them. When taking forklift training, it is usually centered around operators. This makes sense since operators are the people are will maneuver the vehicle while carrying loads. However, there is a whole other aspect that must be taken into consideration when it comes to the safe operation of forklifts – and that is pedestrians.

People working in the area are also at risk of forklifts. As a pedestrian working around this equipment, please take into account the following safety tips:

  • Make eye contact with the forklift driver – this way you’ll know for certain that they see you.
  • Give operators space. This means you should keep a safe distance from the forklift and pay attention at all times.
  • Don’t just assume the operator knows that you are there. Make your presence known.
  • Never walk under the raised forks of a lift truck. This also applies to times when it’s not carrying a load – the forks could fall without warning.

It is easy to become a little complacent while working around forklifts – especially if we work around them daily without incident. It’s also sometimes difficult to hear back-up warning signals on a noisy work site. However, accidents can happen any time – regardless of how many times you’ve worked around them in the past. The best way to prevent a possible injury is to be aware of your surroundings. Be mindful of equipment in the area and practice safety at all times.

Need more toolbox talks? No problem! Click here to see 5 general construction toolbox talks that you can share with your crew.

Toolbox Talks Electrical Topics

Looking for toolbox talks electrical topics? You’ve come to the right place! We have included 3 below that you will find useful during your next toolbox talk.

Toolbox Talk: Be Safe with Extension Cords

extension cord

Extension cords are used all the time at work and at home. It’s probably because they are so useful! While they may make life easier, but they can cause fires or shocks if they aren’t used properly, or if worn out.

So, what types of extension cords are out there?

They usually come in either two or three wire types. When using two-wire extension cords, make sure it’s only powering 1-2 small appliances. If you need to power outdoor appliances or power tools, then make use of a three-wire cord. Why is this? Well, the third wire on this cord is a ground, so it should never be connected into an ungrounded electrical outlet.

You should always treat extension cords with care. Check them regularly for damage or wear. Don’t pull cords hard in an attempt to disconnect it from the electrical source. One thing that can be very tempting is to hide extension cords under rugs or furniture – or even though doorways, walls or ceilings. This act can be very dangerous, as damaged cords can cause a fire or shock!

You should never use extensions cords as a form of permanent wiring. Fastening them to a building or structure with staples is never a good idea. You should also avoid plugging two cords together in an attempt to make a longer one. When too many extension cords are used to power on appliances, it could reduce the operating voltage and efficiency of things that are plugged into it. This can lead to motor damage.

In short, extension cords are very convenient, and we use them for a lot of our daily activities. Even though they seem harmless, you still need to take proper care of them to prevent fire or shock hazards. Also, be sure you position extension cords, so they don’t become a tripping hazard. And always inspect them regularly to make sure they are free of any damage.  

Toolbox Talks Electrical Safety

Electrical safety toolbox talk

Fires are very destructive and can take years to rebuild afterwards. One of the main causes of fires is related to electrical sources. One way to mitigate this hazard is to have proper electrical installations and equipment.

Before making any choices about electrical equipment and their wiring, take note of the area in which they will operate. For example, an electrical device might be safe for installation in an area containing combustible dust, but it may not be safe in areas containing flammable gases or vapours.

Take hazardous areas into consideration when it comes to electrical installations including:

  • Are flammable liquids present?
  • Are those flammable liquids being transferred from one container to another?
  • Is spray painting happening nearby?
  • Are flammable solvents being used?
  • Are there dangerous levels of dust in the area?

The most important thing to remember when it comes to electrical safety. Make sure all electrical hazards are mitigated and controlled.

A Toolbox Talk on Preventing Electrical Shock

Toolbox Talks Electrical

You need to be mindful about the potential for shocks whether you’re at work or even at home. Our bodies have a low resistance to electricity, which unfortunately makes for a great conductor (like metals). The human body doesn’t respond well when the electricity passes through it. Electricity can cause thermal burns, heart trouble, severe muscle contractions, and sometimes death.

Usually, electrical injuries happen when electrical current flows between the hands and feet. This can happen when someone touches an energized line. The energy looks for the shortest path to the ground, and unfortunately, this path is your body. Afterwards, a person’s lungs and heart are usually damaged. One way you can protect yourself is to put an insulator between the energy and the point of contact. Things like rubber, porcelain, and dry wood offer great resistance from electricity, and can protect you from electrical shock.

So, how can you avoid electrical shock? Here are some helpful tips!

  • Make sure electric tools are properly grounded or double insulated. Check for any damage on the outer case and be sure it’s clearly labeled as “double insulated” by the manufacturer.
  • Be sure the grounding system is complete. If there is any doubt about the grounding, test it. Remember, ground testers aren’t expensive.
  • Use heavy duty grounded extension cords with two layers of insulation and reinforcement between the layers. They are less susceptible to damage than household type cords. Remember, most flat cords are not heavy duty.
  • Don’t mix water and electricity. This might be a no-brainer, but you should keep cords, tools and working/walking surfaces dry. Also, keep your hands and feet dry as well. Why? Well, the electrical resistance of wet skin is at least 100 times less than dry skin so this greatly increases the likelihood of severe shock from contact with a live circuit.
  • Never work on or around a live electrical circuit. Always lock out the power so that only you have control over energizing the machine or equipment. Don’t take chances.

We have more toolbox talks electrical topics and many others on our site. Click here to see our mixed topic packages.