Site Safety
Ryan Hartley
Jun 21, 2019

What the **** is a Toolbox talk!

What the **** is a Toolbox talk!

In New Zealand, health and safety looks and feels a bit like the big, bad, coffee stained blue folder in the back of the ute and in reality the legislation feels a bit the same way. You don't need to be a Health and Safety consultant to up skill your health and safety knowledge.

I know, I know, there's all this in the know jargon thrown around the building site's. "Toolbox talks, take 5's and tailgates," it's utter pandemonium out there!

So, what's the actual go.


Whatever you want to call them, toolbox talks are a great opportunity to stop for 15 minutes each week check in with your team on site. Here are 4 topics that you can bring up at your next toolbox meeting:

1. Review last week

It's an opportunity to review what's happened with the job and the people. Was there any near misses or incidents we can review and learn from to try and prevent similar or the same situation happening again? It's so crucial to build a culture within your business that allows people to feel comfortable to talk about these situations. As it's about learning and improving not naming and shaming.

2. What's happening this week?

Talking about the week ahead is not just awesome from a health and safety point of view but also from a productivity and efficiency aspect. As knowing what's happening on site e.g delivery's, is crucial to staying safe. Communication is one of the best tools we have in our toolbox to aid and prosper a positive health and safety culture on site.

3. Risk and Hazards

A fundamental part of any great toolbox talk is to take a second a think about what risk's or hazards are on site and what will be coming on site too. You need to make sure everyone is aware of all risks & hazards. Don't just list them on the hazard board but actually do a risk assessment. Identify the risk and potential harm, put control measures in place and re rate the risk to make sure the risk as ideally been eliminated or managed. A super easy way to manage risk is with Site App Pro's risk matrix. As it is the only dynamic risk assessment tool, that allows you to properly manage and control risk's without all the paper that normally goes with it. It also means you can easily refer back to it and induct new people to existing hazards.


4. General comments (Opening up the floor)

This is a great opportunity to get feedback and comments from the team. No idea's a bad idea, as developing a comfortable environment to say what's on your mind is vital. If no one wants to stand in the space, maybe ask certain individuals if they are comfortable with what has been discussed, or refer back to some of the risks & hazards and ask them if they have anything to add. Don't feel disheartened if you get a few crickets for the first couple of toolbox talks, as shifting a culture and mindset doesn't happen overnight, but, it's important to start.

Toolbox talks are a great way to stay connected with your team and build a safer culture within your business. You should include the subbies if they are there when you hold the meeting as they are responsible for not only their own safety but also are for managing any hazards they bring to site.

It's super important to record these toolbox talks so you have a record to refer back to if you ever get audited. You can record and capture attendees and their signatures with Site App Pro and it's template for Toolbox talks.

Request a demo here to see how easy it is to record a toolbox with our awesome app.

About the author

Ryan Hartley

Head of Sales

I've been with Site App Pro before it had the "Pro" on the end (2015). I started working for Site App while I was finishing my degree then moved into a full-time role as the only sales rep once I finished my BA. I then moved into > Business Development Manager > Head of Sales. Some say I was born for the role here at Site App Pro as my dad and his best mates started Site App back in 2014. I absolutely love sales, hustling, cold calling, managing new reps and everything sales. Ryan is the team member most likely to use emojis whenever he writes a message 🔥, Spearfishing, Diving and surfing with the more than odd craft beer.

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