Toolbox Talks is a term that spawned from the construction industry. It refers to when companies or crews would meet briefly in the morning. These informal safety meetings help keep your company’s safety procedures, rules regarding equipment, personal protective equipment, job assignments and expectations on the forefront of your employees’ minds. This type of meeting can be shorter and used more to reinforce formal safety meetings or training programs.
These meetings help to prevent employees from cutting corners to get a job done more quickly. A prime example is an employee not taking the time to walk back to the truck to get safety glasses. By constantly reminding your staff about safety you can reinforce the importance of safety in your company culture. This can help you as a business owner save money on insurance premium over the course of many years.
It only takes one big claim or many small claims in one policy period to hurt your businesses reputation with an insurance carrier. When your business is not safe it can drive up premium and thus effect the growth of your company. An even worse result could be having to lay someone off due to the rising cost of insurance. This does not have to be the case and these Toolbox Talks can help to prevent just that.
Obviously some accidents happen and they are not avoidable. Carriers do take that into account when looking quoting your business, especially when you have had a claim. If you have procedures like Toolbox Talks or safety meetings on a regular basis the underwriter may view the loss as more of a shock loss or an uncommon accident. If these talks are in place they are much more likely to view your accident as an outlier and less of a sign of more to come.
When planning topics for your Toolbox Talks you may find it is hard to come up with interesting topics. If you are having trouble coming up with topics to cover your insurance agent or carrier can help you with ideas or even provide some material for you to cover. Insurance carriers and agents want you to have a safe and informed workforce. They want this so they can insure your business for a long time to come. No matter the size of your business or how much work has to be done, you will be able to find the importance and benefits of doing these quick meetings. Below you will find a quick outline on how to operate a meeting effectively and efficiently. These quick meetings are more to reinforce what you have discussed previously and to act as a quick reminder to your workforce that you want them to be safe. More importantly, you want the workforce to know that the business culture is one that wants safety on the forefront of the minds of the employees throughout the work day. When safety becomes a habit it benefits not only the business owner but the workforce as well. There is never a better day than today to get started on a structure format to educated and reinforce employee safety. Safety is and always should be a proactive approach instead of a reactive one.
Below is a quick example of a format for Toolbox Talks:
- Focus on one subject per talk
- Choose a subject that involves your group on hand
- Avoid vague statements. Be specific and to the point when delivering the message.
- Give an example of what you expect or from a past experience
- Leave time for questions or concerns so that everyone leaves on the same page.