Toolbox Talks General Industry
Looking for toolbox talks general industry topics? Here are 5 that will get you through the workweek. If you need more topics, please use the menu on the left to find some that may work better for your work week ahead.
Freeze-Thaw Cycle Makes for Slippery Surfaces
It’s that time of year once again where we notice the freeze-thaw cycle. What does this mean exactly? Well, as we transition from the cold winter weather to the spring, the ice and snow melts. This makes for very muddy and wet conditions. When the weather decides to get cold again, all this melt will freeze once again, making for some very slippery conditions. The best way to protect yourself from this is to be mindful of slippery surfaces — especially when weather temperatures dip below zero. If you do notice slippery surfaces anywhere in your work area, please take the time to mitigate the danger to others by applying some sand or salt to the area. If you have any challenges with slippery areas, bring it up to your Supervisor so they can help advise you on the best way to correct the unsafe situation.
Another thing you should be mindful during this period is muddy conditions. With everything melting, it seems like everywhere you step, you’ll find mud! This can sometimes result in an accumulation of mud on your boots — which can be very dangerous while walking, climbing or using equipment. Please remember to check your footwear regularly during the day for a build-up of mud, and clean them to prevent a possible slip injury.
Be Mindful of Hazards in Your Work Area
When you go to work each and every day, it can be difficult to see the many hazards that exist. After all, everything looks the same, so if you didn’t get hurt yesterday, what would cause harm today, right? That’s actually not true. Depending on where you work, it’s possible that conditions changed while you weren’t in your work area. For example, maybe a co-worker stopped by and left some tools or materials on the ground which happens to be in your regular path of travel. If you’re not expecting them to be there, it’s possible that you could trip and fall over the items.
The best way to protect yourself from any hazards is to conduct a thorough assessment before you start your work for the shift. A hazard assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to people, so you can take steps to correct unsafe conditions and prevent possible injuries. When you first arrive to your work area, take the time to look around for hazards. One of the most important things to remember is that hazards aren’t just limited to the level you’re working on. What this is means is that hazards may be lurking all around you. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to look up and around so you can identify all of them.
There are 5 steps to hazard assessment:
- Identify the hazards
- Decide who might be harmed and how
- Evaluate the risks and decide on controls
- Record, communicate and implement your findings
- Review your assessment and update when necessary.
Remember, hazard identification is a process to ensure your workplace is safe, so be thorough. Don’t rush through it because you may miss something — and this may result in an injury to yourself or your co-workers.
General Industry Toolbox Talks About Staying Focused this Easter Holiday Weekend
Everybody loves a holiday (especially the Easter treats) but this can bring some challenges at work. How? Well, when you’re thinking about a holiday — maybe family dinners or where you’re going to hide eggs for your kids — this can cause distraction on the job. We all know what happens when we lose focus during a task –yes, you guessed it – we could get injured. That’s why it’s important that we don’t let our thoughts distract us from focusing on the safe execution of work. It might be very tempting to think about eating a home cooked meal and spending time with friends and family, but you need to be mindful of the work you’re conducting first and foremost. So please, keep your mind on the safe completion of your work this long weekend. This also means you shouldn’t take shortcuts just to finish your work faster so you can get to your weekend plans earlier. Doing so could put you at risk of injury – and nobody wants to be spending this Easter long weekend in the hospital. If you follow safe work practices and procedures, take your time, and do your work safely the first time, then you can have a safe holiday weekend! If you find yourself becoming distracted, take a short reset break to get your head back in the game.
Keep Your Work Area Clean as a Whistle!
It’s no coincidence that a job goes a lot smoother when the work area where it’s being conducted is neat and tidy. Have you noticed this? Think back to the last job you did where you had zero issues — I bet there was no materials or tools piled everywhere, right?
When poor housekeeping efforts have been conducted in an area where work is taking place, it really makes for challenging work conditions — it actually creates inefficiency and incidents that could be very dangerous for anyone working in the area. Remember, good housekeeping efforts are the responsibility of everyone, so if you notice a mess, be sure to clean it up.
One thing that’s proved to be very useful is to clean as you go. For example, as you’re completing a job, you shouldn’t let any debris pile up. Remove anything as soon as you’re finished with it. Stopping to clean up a mess will never waste time. In fact, when you think about all the time you’ll gain by not having to walk around a mess (or even worse–deal with an incident resulting from the mess), cleaning as you go doesn’t look like a bad plan after all, huh? 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 that is cluttered.
Remember, a clean job is a safe job and it’s everyone’s responsibility!
A Good General Industry Toolbox Talk About Interventions at Work
Nobody likes confrontation. In fact, it can be very uncomfortable to tell a co-worker that they are performing their work in an unsafe manner. So, what should you do? Ignoring the situation because it’s easier than confronting them may be more appealing, but this decision could cause injury to you or your co-workers. As much as you may not want to hear this, the only suitable decision you have in these situations is to intervene.
We know it will be a difficult discussion to have, but remember, a positive outcome is all in your approach (as is everything in life, right?) The first thing you can do is approach the individual in a positive manner. This will ensure the discussion will go well. What does a positive manner mean? Essentially you should stay calm and speak to the individual privately. You never want to have this conversation around others if you can help it. The best way to start the conversation is by acknowledging something positive that you’ve noticed about their work. For example, “it’s good to see you’re wearing your close-fitting eyewear.” Then all you have to do is follow that statement with some calm feedback about the unsafe behaviour you’ve noticed. If you follow this advice, the unsafe situation should be corrected AND both you and your co-worker will feel good about the chat.