Jul 06, 2020

Increasing the Frequency of ToolBox Talks – why and how

Some call them toolbox talks, others call them safety meetings or safety briefs. Whatever you decide to call them, the outcome is always positive when workers are informed about safety on a regular basis. They cover a variety of different topics but are typically centered around safety for that particular worksite. In our ultimate guide to toolbox talks, we have over 365 toolbox talk ideas that you can cover for everyday of the year. 

Making these toolbox talk interesting is very important.  Engaging toolbox talks can help champion workers into collaboration where they will continue to talk about it long after the meeting is over. Keep reading to find out why toolbox talks are so important to the workplace. 

Why Frequency Matters

Do you know how much money is lost every year due to unplanned work stoppages caused by occupational injury? In North America alone, it's over $365B. These costs are measured in lost productivity as well as indirect costs like insurance, hours lost to shutdowns, delay penalties, re-training new workers, project schedule adjustments, etc.

The costs of injuries are staggering, so anything we can do to reduce them is worthy.

365 toolbox talk topics

Can you brief employees on safety too much? No matter what you may have heard, there is no negative effect on conducting daily toolbox safety talks. The less frequently this type of training is conducted and the fewer safety topics covered, the higher the lagging indicators. 

Data shows that an increased frequency of toolbox talks from a monthly meeting to a daily meeting has the potential to decrease Total Recordable Incident Rates (TRIR) by up to 85%. If you happen to perform toolbox talks weekly then the increase to daily has the potential to decrease TRIR by up to 72.8%.

“Starting each day with a toolbox safety talk not only reinforces those general safe work expectations and obligations, but more importantly, demonstrates to the workforce the importance of putting safety first each and every day.”

Tackling the Administrative burden

Of course,  it's very easy to say perform a toolbox talk daily. It can be a full time job performing a weekly or monthly toolbox talk schedule let alone a daily one.  

Searching for and digging up new content to deliver to your workers, preparing it into a digestible format, like a print out or emailed PDF, ensuring that it's being discussed on site and that your workers understand the content, is all a lot of work. 

This becomes a daunting task for anyone to perform, even without the rest of your job. And what ends up happening is you ultimately fail at it because you simply don't have enough hours in the day to get it all done. You also likely don’t have a method in which to measure your ROI, and unless you're able to keep this up for a full year, where you can compare WCB claims, you won't really know if it had an impact on your incident rate.The increased frequency soon derails and you’re back to weekly or monthly on status quo.

Some companies that do perform daily toolbox talks have a dedicated team in place in order to do all of this work. While they are in a position where they can afford it too, not every organization has the luxury of a toolbox talk team to create and deliver content and measure the results.

The power of innovation at this moment in time is awesome. You can set up an initiative and put it on autopilot so that you can check it when you have time and make the corrections that you need to along the way. Having a system automate the collection of the information and allow you to put the work in once, at the beginning of an initiative allows you to start implementing the next initiative while you gather the data from the first. 

This is exactly what the SafetyTek Content Delivery System allows you to do. Toolbox Talks can be added in any media format, be it you recording a video with your phone, or on a PDF. You can then utilize the system to track the delivery, opens, time spent consuming the media, as well as sign offs for any particular piece of content that you wish to track. 

In Summary

Toolbox talks are one of the best ways to educate your workforce about known hazards that they come across on a daily basis. Hours are spent developing the content, delivering it to the field, and collecting the confirmations that field workers have run through the content. 

Tracking whether or not your workers have read the content usually takes up a lot of time. While it is often a painful process, data shows how very necessary it is. 

Systems like Safetytek’s Content Delivery Systems can help you increase the number of Toolbox talks you conduct, and help you eliminate all the paperwork that comes with it. 

For more information about how we can help with your toolbox talks and how our systems can remove the massive administrative burdens, get in touch with us.