Toolbox Talk: Commonly Overlooked Safety Routine
Human memory is short. We are apt to forget even the essentials that is required to be remembered and put to use, while executing a job that is hazardous in nature. Particular care is needed for undertaking such jobs maintaining the correct sequence of steps, doing it precisely the right way, the first time and then at all other times. These precautions, do’s and don’ts and sense of responsible acts become the core of risky duties, very commonly encountered in industrial working. This necessitates a brief refresher and reminder of essentials at the beginning of shift, just before people proceed to the site of work so that they take these important measures without fail.
A safety toolbox talk is conducted near the workmen’s toolboxes by the work-in-charge or safety supervisor. It is a 10-15 minutes informal safety discussion focusing on specific current safety issues presented to the employees. Toolbox talks are intended to facilitate health and safety discussions on the job site.
Toolbox talks are quick, short and easy reminder exercises to enhance safety applications while executing the job. It covers a wide range of topics beginning from workplace electrical safety to lifting basics as an example. Toolbox talk helps to identify problems, build an environment to discuss task specific or timely safety communications and highlight specific safety measures.
Some of the most unsafe situations arise out of common errors that can be easily avoided. Although toolbox talks cannot replace formal safety training but they can be one of the important measures to eliminate or at least reduce the same. In India, toolbox talks are generally the most overlooked safety practices which should be encouraged for the good of workmen and people around.
Toolbox talks can also be used for pre-task planning, post-accident communications, re-enforcement of safe work practice, and talking points for hands on training or table top exercises.
Toolbox talks can be enhanced with animation as visuals are more effective and encourages interaction. It’s easier for us to tune out something we’re hearing than it is to ignore something we’re seeing. Eyes (viewing gadget) are only four fingers apart from ears (hearing gadget) but in meaning it denotes vast gap between fact and fiction.
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