Five Ways to Take your Toolbox Talks to the Next Level

By Chip Phillips on September 24, 2020
Tags: Business Operations, Data Collection, Safety

Use toolbox talks to refresh and reinforce

Daily safety meetings should not just be a means to share new OSHA regulations and compliance issues. They are a great way to remind your team about safety measures that are not always at the front of their minds.

Toolbox talks provide an opportunity to reinforce ongoing safety initiatives, refresh important worksite concepts, and even give your workers a place to discuss and practice new skills.

Utilize digital tools for planning and accountability

Toolbox talks are a vital component for every safety program, and their planning should be treated as such. Digital forms provide structured checklists to ensure that every necessary topic is covered, along with the means to collect important details and notes from your meeting without being limited to a small space on a paper form. 

Plus, any information collected from the daily briefing can be quickly and securely stored, which means no more jotting things down on a notepad that can be easily lost.

Audit your daily safety meetings

It is important to regularly debrief with your workers, asking what did/didn’t work, and make adjustments to ensure the vital details are being retained by your crew.

This doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Asking your workers a few simple questions at the end of a talk and taking short notes can be plenty. The feedback can be quickly reviewed to make changes to your format as needed, so your daily briefings are effective and make for a safer worksite

Keep your talking points fresh

In addition to updating the way you deliver safety information based on worker feedback, you should mix up your toolbox talk topics on a regular basis. This can be as simple as updating your briefing to include the latest OSHA regulations each day, approaching a well-worn topic from a different angle, or just sharing new stories to reinforce the importance of current safety initiatives.

Remember, the goal is to engage your workers and get them thinking about possible risks. Regularly changing your talking points can get them focused on your worksite’s specific safety challenges.

Don’t forget the human element

Even if all of the latest regulations, rules, and compliance issues are covered in your toolbox talks, there are human factors that cause people to take their mind off of tasks. When workers are frustrated, distracted, tired, or even just complacent, they are more likely to overlook important safety measures.

It is so important to remember that nobody is ever trying to get hurt. When an incident occurs or a rule is broken, it is most often due to a worker’s state of mind. Your toolbox talks are a perfect opportunity to address these human factors. Providing good habits and reminders, disrupting complacency in your company, and creating a space where your crew can share their concerns are all pieces that can work against rule violations and keep your workers safe.


Looking for a safety solution that will take your toolbox talks to the next level? GoCanvas Safety includes pre-built digital forms so you can streamline your planning and ensure that every important detail is captured at your daily briefings. Customizable forms and turn-key dashboards mean you can regularly audit and update your toolbox talks, so you can focus on the human factors to keep your team safe. Learn more here.