Using the right talk
There is a never ending supply of toolbox talk topics you can choose from. A great way of looking at these themes is to allocate one every week and put a schedule in place for 52 subjects. This way you can plan and make the talks really informative and interactive so that your team will engage with them.
The right information for a toolbox talk can be much more effective than pages and pages of written safety messages or workplace updates. Managers can tailor a talk to have a specific focus, it might be about a particular safety topic or an update to a procedure or a system.
What should an effective talk look like?
A talk should be short and informative and preferably delivered with enthusiasm and energy. I have also been present when a talk topic has been quite humorous, I find this works even better if they can have a laugh and remember the information contained in the talk.
An effective presentation should start by clearly explaining the purpose of the meeting. The information delivered must be relevant to the workplace and delivered in a manner that all people present can understand. I have also witnessed a talk that was delivered by a senior manager who used words and phrases that were long winded and convoluted and most of the attendees did not understand what he was trying to explain.
Similarly a safety presentation is more effective if it is delivered by someone who actually understands the tasks or the information they are delivering. I have seen a talk by a safety advisor who had only been on the job for a week and clearly had no idea what she was talking about but just reading from her notes.
Good talks should also be interactive
Allow time for questions both during the talk and after. It is much easier for people to remember the information if there is discussion and questions and answers.
If necessary you may want to give attendees written notes with information that is spoken about during the presentation. This helps for those who don’t quite get all of the information at the toolbox talk but can refer to the notes at a later stage.
The location of the talk is very important
No one will listen to what you are saying if they are shivering cold or sweating in the heat. Most talks are held in a lunchroom, training room or a common area that can be quite comfortable.
Another good practise I have seen is to ask different employees to deliver the talk, this works well in smaller workplaces (less than fifty employees) as everyone knows that they will have to do a talk at some stage during the year. (Assuming weekly talks)
These talks can also be used to convey social messages, someone’s birthday or important date. And can update people on the welfare of workmates that are sick, injured or changes to the business. Run a regular safety talk, a great way to share.
Watch Woody’s Video on Top 5 Toolbox Talk Topics & Tips HERE
About the writer
James Wood, the Founder of CNBSafe, understands the consequences of not following workplace safety procedures. While performing a simple task at work James made some poor choices and suffered a workplace injury that broke his back and severely injured his spinal cord. Now confined to a wheelchair, James began CNBSafe, to provide safety presentations such as safety talks for employers.
CNBSafe offers a host of safety information via workplace seminars, keynote speakers, safety DVD’s and personal safety talks. These talks can be geared around proper safety equipment, the impact or reason for a specific injury or incident and the impact of making the wrong choices at work. Our talks are like no other, with first-hand recounts of workplace accidents and injuries. Let CNBSafe remind you that ‘Safety is a choice YOU make.’