What Are Toolbox Talks?
A Toolbox Talk or Tailgate Safety Meeting is a brief meeting based on a pre-written outline during which a supervisor addresses relevant workplace hazards and identifies safety measures to manage risks on a job site. In as little as five minutes each working day or a longer period every few days, supervisors can educate and remind workers about the hazards present in an environment, the proper use of personal protective equipment and other best practices to promote workplace safety.
Short, simple meetings can address large and complex risks in ways that make a noticeable difference in worker safety. A recent study found that holding short Toolbox Talks or Tailgate Safety Meetings on a daily basis led to a 64% reduction in total incidents over similar operations with monthly talks.
Toolbox Talks are intended to supplement mandated workplace safety training. OSHA stipulates that an “employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.” This agency does not require that Toolbox or Tailgate Talks take place.
Frequent safety meetings may be mandated by other regulatory agencies. The state of California, for instance, requires a Toolbox Talk to take place on job sites at least every 10 working days. The HSE in the UK and other municipalities may have specific work safety requirements.