Toolbox meeting first noted in safety history from the early 1800s this safety practice has grown into what your company should have in place today
Safety has often taken a backseat to performance and quality, but new “total quality management” techniques have led to an understanding of the real cost of accidents and injury in terms of human suffering, morale, lost time and productivity, as well as the direct costs associated with medical costs and higher workers’ compensation premiums. This has helped make safety management a top priority and a key to business success.
A toolbox meeting is an informal safety meeting, which is generally conducted at the job site prior to the commencement of a job or work shift. Job supervisors can draw attention to hazards, processes, equipment, tools, environment and materials to inform all workers of the risks in their surroundings.
Toolbox meetings have become a common part of everyday life working on work sites (hopefully). While it is essential for everyone to take part and ensure they take place each day, they can also become tedious and repetitious. This monotony can often lead to complacency. Complacency has no place when you are working in such a dangerous environment where small mistakes can cost people’s lives. These meetings — whether called job briefings or Toolbox meetings — are intended to let utility crews acknowledge potential hazards, review work procedures, and address safety measures before starting a job.
As with a Toolbox Meeting in any industry, I make sure everyone understands what we will be doing and where we will be working for the day. Toolbox Meetings often are nothing but a lecture without generating conversation or discussion about potential hazards and dangers employees may face. It unfortunately becomes obvious that worst case scenarios are not discussed. Thinking in depth about how bad things could possibly get does shed light on potential hazards and creates more discussion about safer work habits.
But not limited to: recommend that a job toolbox briefing should cover at least the following: • Hazards associated with the job • Work procedures involved • Special precautions and risk mitigation • Energy source/hazard controls • Personal protective equipment requirements • Emergency response information
Toolbox should be about conversations, questions, thoughts and experience on risk. Toolbox meetings must not be just ticking check boxes and once the job starts the form is forgotten. Here are just a but a few examples but not limited to your industry needs.