9 tips to an effective toolbox talk

Gina Theron   |   September 17, 2015

Toolbox talks are an effective way of providing workers with relevant, site-specific safety information. It's an engaging meeting which, if delivered correctly, can make a real impact on the productivity and risk management on your work site.

Remember who you're talking to and convey your information in the most engaging and impacting way. We have dug up a list of 10 tips which will take your toolbox talk to the next level!

1. Relevance

When planning your toolbox talk make sure your topic is related to the site and the work being conducted. communicate with those on site to ensure you're raising the most appropriate and current issues. 

2. Site-Specific 

Ensure you've had a walk through the site and that you're aware of the ins and outs of the project. Your topic must be relevant to the current work in progress and directly applicable to the day-to-day operations. 


3. Interactive

Make your talk as effective as possible by making it interactive. Construction workers can bring a lot of value to these discussions due to past experiences. Incorporate them into the talk rather then making it feel like a lecture, this will show respect and established an agreed upon safety procedure. 

4. Storytelling 

Telling a story can leave a bigger impact. Stories make the problem real and helps convey the seriousness of the hazard. 

5. Risk Perception 

People can often have the wrong perception of what is and isn't dangerous. Risk perception can be different from one individual to another. It is important to stress the seriousness of a hazard and support it with facts and statistical data to ensure all workers are aware of their actions and what their limits are. 

6. Concrete

Avoid being vague - clearly outline the risks, map out the steps to reducing this risk and what actions to take in the unfortunate event of injury. If workers know exactly what to do and there is proven success they will be more likely to follow these steps in future.  

7. Demonstration

Hands-on presentation will help solidify what has been discussed in the talk. Practical exercises are often the most effective technique for information retention, if people are able to reflect on experiences they are more likely to remember to put them into practice.    

8. Given by Peers 

Incorporating the workers on site can be an effective technique as they are experienced and have often witnessed these risks first hand throughout their career. Workers will pay more attention as the talk is being delivered by people they respect. 

9. Handouts 

Handouts are a good way to cover more than you have time to discuss. Construction runs on a tight schedule and usually 10 minutes is all you have time for when delivering a toolbox talk. Get all your points across with a good handout which is short, written in simple, clear language and outlines specific actions to preventing injury. 


Following these 9 steps will help you deliver a thorough and effective toolbox talk, to minimise on site liabilities. We have put together a Toolbox Talk Agenda to ensure you're delivering an effective presentation!


Gina Theron
Gina is a Marketing Coordinator at Felix. She is a business and engineering student, and relishes working for one of Australia's greatest mining and construction disrupters. Harsh critic of tomatoes and spiders that surprise her.

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