System includes

Here is a list of what’s included in Protecting.

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Toolbox Talks

Explore a wide range of free toolbox talks to improve health and safety practices in your UK business. At Protecting, we want to make your life easier. Our health and safety experts are always looking for ways to pass on their knowledge and do so with the varied toolbox talk subjects addressed in these free resources.

Learn while saving time, money, and effort with our super pack of more than 60 toolbox talks covering everything from abrasive wheels to working platforms. Download the pack from our library of health and safety documents or check out the full list of 62 toolbox talk examples at the bottom of this page – click on each one to visit the page.

What is a toolbox talk?

A toolbox talk is a short talk or presentation that covers a specific health and safety subject. It also refers to a short workplace consultation that addresses certain safety, risks, and hazardous aspects within a business. They’re cost-effective resources to inform those in the business about important health and safety practices.

The development and maintenance of a safe working culture can only be effective if everyone is included and actively involved. The use of toolbox talks is an invaluable means of involving those most at risk – the employees, sub-contractors, and self-employed – without incurring any significant time or financial penalty.

Toolbox talks exist to assist companies and contracts managers, site managers, foremen, and charge hands. They help implement an efficient system of conducting regular toolbox talks with minimum effort, while hopefully achieving maximum gain.

Toolbox talk template

A standard format has been adopted throughout the toolbox talks contained in the manual. However, there remains considerable flexibility enabling for users to adapt toolbox talk templates and the content to their specific requirements. Below is an example of a toolbox talk, its format, and structure.

The standard format for a toolbox talk template:

  1. Talk number and title – purely for reference purposes.
  2. An introduction – a few lines to introduce the particular toolbox talk, including why it’s important.
  3. Main points – three to five primary points about what the toolbox talk covers.
  4. Discussion points – a list of other points to choose from. All can be covered, and the format used like a script if required or particularly relevant points can be selected. The site scale, activities, and available time may determine the best option.
  5. A quote – each toolbox talk ends with a quick quote by way of summary. These are deliberately “catchy” in the hope that they’ll be remembered.
  6. Notes – there’s a space for individual notes, which can include specific site conditions and activities, site rules, company policy points, and more as required.

The flip side of each toolbox talk is deliberately left blank to allow the inclusion of pictures if required. This will depend on individual approaches and requirements, but possibilities worth considering might include photographs of the effects of industrial dermatitis, good or bad scaffold, or types of fire extinguisher (though the latter may be better demonstrated by having the actual site fire extinguishers present!).

How often should toolbox talks be carried out?

How often toolbox talks should be carried out depends on individual requirements, approaches, and site conditions. On larger sites it may be necessary to give the same toolbox talk several times to ensure all sub-contractors are addressed. Alternatively, it may be more practical to give the same toolbox talk at different locations on site (a different floor/level each day).

On smaller sites it might be enough to address all site personnel at once for a toolbox talk. There’s no set frequency or method, but it’s recommended that companies give a toolbox talk to every employee, sub-contractor, and self-employed person once a week. Ideally, this should be implemented as a set routine (every Wednesday morning starts with a 10-15 minute toolbox talk, for example).

Additional toolbox talks can be added as and when required.

Why are toolbox talks important?

Toolbox talks provide a convenient and effective way to communicate and reinforce safety messages throughout the workforce. Health and safety toolbox talks can significantly enhance the development of a safe working culture when used properly. Educating employees helps minimise risks as well as accidents and incidents.

The cost of implementing a regular toolbox talk system is minimal – it only takes 10 to 15 minutes a week! The benefits will include greater awareness, with the potential to reduce accident rates, and possibly even save a life. The question isn’t “can you be bothered?” – it’s “can you afford not to be?”

Toolbox talk topics

Discover the wide range of toolbox talks topics available with Protecting. Dig deeper into each of the toolbox talks subjects on the individual pages by clicking a specific link below. Our ultimate toolbox talks include: