How to Give a Safety Talk

A comment on a post of mine from back in November about Safety talks led me to the blog of Steven Silva who has generously consented to allowing me to repost the post on his blog entitled “How to Give a Safety Talk”. Here it is:

Safety Talk Introduction and Example

Supervisors or Safety Representative should be doing a weekly safety talk.  Below is an example of a safety talk guide I created for people that worked under me.

Example Safety Talk Memo…

In Ontario, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires workers to be trained in health and safety on the job site.  One of the methods used in training are the weekly Safety Talks (also known as Tool Box Talks).  Construction Site Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all workers on-site have the appropriate safety training.  Once a week, the Supervisor must ensure that a safety talk is given and recorded.  The Supervisor can do the safety talk or delegate it to the Health and Safety Representative.  For those new to the talk, follow the Ten Point Guide Below.  Please note that this is only a guide!  Supervisors or Health and Safety Representatives may, in addition to weekly safety talks, discuss other items.  If this in done, it should be noted on the Safety Talk Sheet. They must discuss the weekly item at a minimum.  It is up to the Supervisor to set up the time during the week but it must be done during the week provided.  Remember, in general, the purpose of a Safety Talk is to help workers RECOGNIZE and CONTROL hazards on the job site.

1: Introduce the Topic: Example: This week we are discussing Alcohol / Drugs on the job site

2: Explain the Danger: Example: When a worker does not use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as a hard hat or safety glasses, that worker puts himself at risk. Drugs and Alcohol are different, not only do they put the user at risk but also those around him.

3: Display Understanding and Explain Logic: Example; I can understand how you may think a cold beer will make you feel better on a hot day but the logic is wrong.  Alcohol dehydrates you making you even more thirsty.  Alcohol also reduces the control over your own body.  This of course can lead to accidents.  I think that explains why people under the influence of Drugs and Alcohol should not be on site.

4: Make Reference to the Law: (make reference to your local laws)

5: Tell Stories Encourage people to tell stories or personal experiences around the topic.  I knew a guy that…

6: Discuss the company policy: You cannot work on the job site if you are under the influence.

7: Ask Questions to demonstrate understanding: Example(s)  Can you have a beer during lunch if it is off the job site?  No, if you want to come back work in the afternoon.  Can I have a beer that does not contain alcohol?  Only if it has 0% alcohol so the one’s that can be bought at the supermarket that have only 0.05% alcohol are no good.

8: Other Notes: Everyone should discuss the company’s disciplinary policy.  Ask the workers what they would do if it was their company and they were responsible for the workers health and welfare.  The Supervisor should also write down any suggestions given during the talks.

9: Document: Have everyone print their own name on an attendance sheet.  The sheet should also have a summary of what was discussed on it BEFORE the workers sign in.  Also make note of anyone that did not show up that day and any results of the safety talk.  If you run out of space attach a separate sheet with your notes. Please use pen as much as possible.

10: Return to Office: I suggest that the office keep a copy of all the safety talks.  If there is only one sheet a copy should be made and returned to the person giving the talks.

(Thanks to Steven Silva. Check out his blog here)