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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Toolbox Talks on PPE

Need toolbox talks on PPE? Here are 4 that you will appreciate – each with a specific focus on Personal Protective Equipment. We all love toolbox talks on PPE, so feel free to use this message during your next toolbox talk discussion.

Toolbox Talk on PPE Clothing

PPE photo
Here are some toolbox talks on PPE.

Every worker is required to wear or use personal protective clothing, equipment or device as is necessary for their protection from the particular hazards to which he is exposed. Personal protective clothing reduces the possibility of injury. Using the proper protective equipment or device can prevent injury to others including:

  • Safety boots must always be worn. Properly rated hard hats are required when there is an overhead or side impact danger.
  • Safety glasses or goggles should be worn when workers are chipping, sanding, welding, cutting, drilling or using power-actuated tools. In fact, they should be worn all the time. Remember, your eyes must last you a lifetime.
  • Cuffs on overalls are not only a nuisance but also a hazard.
  • It is unwise to go without a shirt in summer (check company or client regulations as a shirt may be a mandatory requirement). Even a shirt of thin light material can protect you from minor cuts and scratches and certainly from sunburn.
  • All workers except those working around machinery should wear gloves. Rings, watch chains, key chains and similar items should not be worn on the job since they can be caught in moving machinery.
  • In winter, watch out for parka strings. Always avoid wearing loose, torn or ragged garments.

Take care of your protective clothing if you expect it to take care of you.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Can Save Lives

Safety protective equipment

Business reviews would seem to indicate that today we are spending more for clothing than anytime in history. And yet, we take so much pride in the social aspect of our dress – what about the really important angle? What about the manner in which we dress for work with safety in mind?

  1. Are we meticulous in the protection of our skull, the important guardian of our brain center, through the wearing of a hard hat?
  2. What about our sight, our most important sense? Do we have our eyes examined periodically if necessary, do we use our glasses when reading, and above all, do we cover them with safety goggles when the occasion demands?
  3. The shirt, an important piece of apparel. If we operate, or are engaged around moving machinery and equipment, do we wear short sleeve shirts, or have straight cuffs? The same goes for jackets. Never wear a loose-fitting jacket, keep it buttoned or zippered shut at least chest high.
  4. Our hands are a very vulnerable part of our body. If our work calls for it, do we wear gloves? Also remember, worn or tattered gloves are more dangerous than no gloves at all.
  5. Wearing overalls or pants with cuffed or rolled up legs is a poor practice. If the legs are too long, have them cut off and hemmed. Straight legs reduce the self-tripping hazard.
  6. How about boots? They don’t have to shine with a brilliant luster, but they must be practical. A safe working boot has a thick sole; thin sole boots can result in serious foot punctures. To protect against toe injuries, steel capped boots are most practical. Bootlaces should not be too long.
  7. Watch out for jewelry. It can catch on things, too. Don’t wear loose watch chains, straps, keys on belt, etc., or any item that might hook on something and place you in a hazardous position. Rings, wristlets and other jewelry belong at home and not on the job.

Remember to dress properly for the job you’re doing.

Toolbox Talks on PPE and a Handy Checklist!

Yellow safety helmet on solar cell panel Free Photo
Need toolbox talks on PPE? Here’s one you can share with your crew.

Need a checklist to ensure PPE compliance is in place at your work site? Here’s one you’ll find helpful.

Have you identified your workers’ personal protection needs?

Have a good look at the various types of work, the plant, equipment and chemicals used and the locations where work takes place. Any source of danger to workers’ health or safety needs to be eliminated altogether or, where this is not practicable, the risks must be properly controlled. The best and most foolproof ways to control risk is to isolate the source of danger from people or to use physical or presence-sensing guarding to prevent people from

contacting the danger. But where this can not be done, or when it does not fully control the risk, use properly understood safe work procedures and the right combination of personal protective equipment (PPE) to fully safeguard workers.

Have you posted the necessary personal protection signs?

To be on the safe side, declare the entire site a hardhat and protective footwear area, and post the safety signs for these prominently at site entrances. Signpost any particular areas where workers will need hearing protection, safety glasses, gloves or breathing masks. Post signs and notices in trailers to remind workers of the types of PPE needed for various types of work.

Have you made sure the right PPE has been provided?

If you are using PPE as a way of controlling risks, it is your responsibility to supply your workers with the right equipment. Insist that your supplier provides equipment complying with the appropriate Regulations and all necessary information on the correct fitting, cleaning and maintenance of the equipment. So far as possible, allow your workers to select the particular model so that it gives them maximum personal comfort. Comfortable PPE gets worn, while “one size fits all” PPE, which is uncomfortable, is only worn under sufferance.

Do your workers understand why they need PPE?

Take the time and effort to make sure your workers know what the possible consequences to their health and safety may be if they do not use the right PPE. If they properly understand what can go wrong, they are more likely to use PPE without being constantly told. If workers are reluctant to use PPE, encourage them to help you develop a better way to do the work so that they won’t need PPE.

Are workers trained in the use of PPE?

Some types of PPE have particular, fitting, testing, cleaning and inspecting requirements. Where this is the case, make sure workers have been properly instructed in these procedures and can demonstrate them correctly.

Is PPE use being adequately monitored?

PPE is only as good as the degree to which it is properly used. Providing a worker with PPE, and then failing to make sure it is being used, is simply not good enough. Conduct regular checks. Insist that the rules for PPE are always followed. Take appropriate action to make this stick.

Is PPE being inspected and replaced as necessary?

Faulty PPE is sometimes worse than no PPE because it can give the worker a false sense of security. For example, the use of incompatible components in safety harness systems can cause the “roll out” of snap hooks, which may result in a worker falling to their death. Make sure PPE is checked regularly for serviceability and compatibility.

Do you review your PPE needs?

New products come on to the market that may provide you with a way of controlling risks without the need for PPE any longer. For example, recent innovations in temporary guardrailing systems now mean there is a product to suit most types of roofing work, reducing the need to rely on safety harness systems. Also, new and improved PPE products are regularly being introduced. Keep up to date through trade magazines, your safety equipment supplier and your industry association.

Take Care of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Protection stuff on white table Free Photo
Finding toolbox talks on PPE can be difficult. Here is one that you will enjoy.

Depending on the occupational safety and health hazards encountered while performing assigned job tasks, your employer may require you to use properly fitting personal protective equipment (PPE) to avoid injuries and illnesses.

Some of the most common types of PPE are:

• Eye protection

• Face protection

• Hearing protection

• Head protection

• Hand protection

• Foot protection

• Respiratory protection

Each of the above is designed to provide a certain level of protection if used and cared for as intended by the manufacturer. One of the factors that help maintain the level of protection is if the device is kept in a clean and sanitary manner. Usually, unless otherwise directed by the manufacturer, this entails washing the components of the device in warm water with a mild detergent on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly as conditions warrant).

If more than one person shares the safety device, it must be cleaned and sanitized after each use.

Cleaning and sanitizing will do no good, however, if the device is not properly stored in-between uses. For instance, safety glasses or face shields which are left out in the open in a dusty or otherwise contaminated environment will become dirty and may compound an injury rather than prevent it (dust falls into eyes from unclean safety glasses). Or a respirator fitted with an organic cartridge, left out on a workbench, will become ineffective as the cartridge absorbs contaminants from the atmosphere.

Most of the devices noted above can be safely stored in re-closable plastic bags, clean cans with lids or storage cupboards with tight-fitting doors.

Personal protective equipment should be inspected frequently, and any defective parts or devices immediately removed from service until repaired and in good operating condition.

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

Ladder Safety Graphic: Use the Right Ladder for the Job


Here’s a ladder safety graphic that reminds us about the importance of selecting the right ladder for the job.

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!


Graphic: Inspect Ladders Before Use

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


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!


Use Three-Point Contact on a Ladder


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.