Safety tool box talks have been a mainstay of company safety programs and continue to be a valuable tool utilized to enlighten and educate workers regarding safety related topics.
A typical safety tool box talk session may follow this type of scenario:
A supervisor receives a one-page safety topic from the company safety director. He then gathers the workers first thing in the morning, prior to the start of work or at lunch time, to read the safety topic information to them. During the discussion, the supervisor may interject comments, reiterate company safety policies and ask the workers if they have any questions or comments. Once the tool box talk is completed, workers are asked to sign the attendance roster at the end of the tool box talk document.
Safety related discussions are too valuable and critical to just “go through the motions.” We should never waste the opportunity to walk away from a safety tool box session more knowledgeable and informed then when we walked in.
Chubb Construction has taken a different approach towards safety tool box talks. It’s an approach that engages both the presenter and participants in the information being provided and makes this important safety instrument exciting and engaging.
Following the concept of the popular television series CSI (Crime Scene Investigator), we constructed safety tool box talks that follow a similar theme.
The participants are engaged in construction-related accident scenarios and become involved by presenting the facts and details of the accidents. Rather than immediately going into a discussion on preventive measures and regulations that should have been followed, we invite the participants to do a reconstructive safety evaluation by asking the two following questions:
What are some of the causes that could have resulted in this accident?
What actions could have been taken to prevent this accident from occurring?
These two questions immediately engage participates by soliciting their thoughts as to what went wrong and challenges them to discuss what they would have done. Once this discussion has been completed, the presenter continues by sharing the accident scene conclusion, which provides the actual findings that resulted in the accident, followed by a discussion on preventive safety measures that should be incorporated to prevent a similar accident from occurring.
When delivered correctly, both the presenter and participants are confronted with a situation that is both relevant and common in their work environment and brings to light potentially real acts and consequences to reiterate the dangers associated with the construction industry and the importance of safety.