Toolbox talk topics

We have assembled 101 of the best toolbox talk topics to inspire your morning meeting.

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1. Accident Prevention

This toolbox will cover the causes of accidents, accident prevention in the workplace and the costs of accidents to you.

→ Read the detailed Accident Prevention toolbox talk

2. Accident Reporting

Every workplace wants to keep accidents to a minimum; but sometimes they happen! It is essential, no matter how minor that the accident is, that it is reported and recorded. 

If you are injured at work, you must report the accident to your workplace as soon as possible. Every workplace will have their own process and reporting system for accidents. Do you know how to report an accident in your workplace? 

It is important to familiarise yourself with what your company’s procedures are!

→ Read the detailed Accident Reporting toolbox talk

3. Air Quality

High concentration of airborne contaminants can cause adverse health effects. Poorly controlled dust and odours can irritate eyes and airways, affecting not only workers, but also neighbouring businesses and residential areas. Indoor air quality poses more of a health risk to workers, as there are more potential hazards such as accumulation of dusts, gases, or vapours, which can lead to additional health and safety risks.

→ Read the detailed Air Quality toolbox talk

4. Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol and the effects of alcohol at work is not only a hazard risk to yourself, but also your work colleagues. Alcohol abuse can have a significant impact not only to individuals but also to work colleagues and potentially their employers.  In this toolbox we will look at the safeguards required by employers (PCBUs) and employees.

→ Read the detailed Alcohol Consumption toolbox talk

5. Angle Grinder Safety

Grinding disks and wheels are common on many worksites. Some of the risks posed by these tools include:

  • Eye injuries from spent fragments
  • Burst disks
  • Injuries from coming into contact with a wheel
  • Entanglement
  • Dust
  • Noise exposure
  • Kickback

Covering off how to mitigate the above points would form the basis of a good toolbox talk.

6. Asbestos

Asbestos is a known human cancer-causing substance (carcinogen) of the lungs, intestines, throat, and ovaries. It is also known to cause other diseases such as Asbestosis, which can significantly reduce the amount of oxygen that can enter the bloodstream (lung function).

→ Read the detailed Asbestos toolbox talk

7. Bug and Insect Protection

They may be small, but depending on where you are working these little critters can be a bi hazard. Insects like wasps and poisonous spiders can be found in our workplaces. Not only can they directly cause us harm, but they can also distract us from the task at hand. Talk about what to do if a nest is found and have a conversation about repellents.

8. Building Shaft and Open Holes

Falls through unprotected opening and building shafts are a serious hazard to workers that can result in serious injuries and death. Open holes and building shafts are common in roadworks, construction, demolition, and renovation works. Falls through open holes still remain one of the most prevalent risks on a construction site.

→ Read the detailed Building Shaft and Open Holes toolbox talk

9. Combustible materials

Combustible materials are always present on many worksites. Reviewing the solids, liquids, and gases that could be hazardous to your site's safety can help prevent unfortunate accidents from happening. It is important to review what material might ignite them (solids, liquids, gasses) as well as potential ignition sources then establish safe handling procedures so they don't become dangerous fires.

10. Confined Space

Confined workspaces are especially dangerous due to limited access and they have poor ventilation. The words "confined space" sounds small, but they could be big. Examples include tanks, access shafts, utility vaults, sewers, pipes, truck or rail tank cars, boilers, manholes, silos, and storage bins. This is a must-do topic if people are working in confined spaces at your site.

11. Control of Hazardous Substances

Hazardous substances are used in many primary industries and construction. If these substances are not controlled properly, they can have significant health and safety consequences for workers.

→ Read the detailed Control of Hazardous Substances toolbox talk

12. Cost of Accidents

Every day, accidents cost lives and have a massive financial impact on not only the business but also the people involved. Accidents result in missed work hours which can lead to lost wages or even job loss for workers if they're unable to continue working at their current position due to injury. This is just one of many reasons why it's important that everyone takes steps towards preventing these incidents from happening again - talk about what we all stand to gain by taking preventative measures now!

13. Dangerous Occurances / Notifiable Events

When certain work-related events happen, these are called notifiable events and must be reported to a regulator for most businesses the regulator is Worksafe. There are two exceptions: Maritime is the regulator for ships at sea & work on ships and Civil Aviation Authority covers  aircraft in flight and operation.

*Note: This Toolbox is written in relation to New Zealand Law and Legislation

→ Read the detailed Dangerous Occurances / Notifiable Events toolbox talk

14. Defensive Driving

For some of us, the most dangerous thing we do every day is the drive to and from work. For others, driving is simply part of the job. Take the time to talk about defensive driving to, from, and at work.

15. Demolition

The potential risk of serious injury during demolition projects is high. People at risk include employees, contractors, and the public. Demolition workers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to work safely. Therefore, demolition work should be planned carefully so that all risks can be managed appropriately.

→ Read the detailed Demolition toolbox talk

16. Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease where your body cannot control its blood sugar levels properly – either because your body doesn't make enough (or any) insulin, or because the cells have become resistant to it. If someone on-site suffers from diabetes you should know how to help them. In this talk, cover off how to respond to a diabetic emergency.

17. Display Screen Equipment

DSE has become a staple in many workplaces, but if they're not used correctly, there is the chance that workers may experience neck or shoulder pain. This can lead to fatigue and eyestrain as well as other symptoms like arm discomfort. Have a chat about correct usage and taking breaks.

18. Disposable Respirators and COVID-19

Due to the covid 19 epidemic wearing, face masks are now common practice. Talk about then need to wear masks, how to wear them correctly, and how to dispose of them correctly.

19. Distracted Driving

Driving can be a deadly task when drivers are not paying attention to the road or on-site. These dangers become even bigger risks for distracted drivers, causing them to fail at driving defensively and putting themselves in danger of being involved in an accident. Start a conversation about what people think common distractions are. E.g Phones - Leave your phone alone until you reach your destination!

20. Drugs at Work

Drugs at work is not only a hazard risk to yourself but also your work colleagues. Drug abuse results in higher rates of workplace injuries, fatalities, and absenteeism.  In this toolbox we will look at the duties required by employers (PCBUs) and employees, and drug testing in the workplace.

→ Read the detailed Drugs at Work toolbox talk

21. Dust

Dusts can cause chronic or irreversible respiratory conditions. Some dusts such as respirable crystalline silica can cause Silicosis, certain hard wood dusts are known to be carcinogenic and other dusts can cause asthma and irritation of the airways. In this toolbox we discuss ways to minimise your dust exposure.

→ Read the detailed Dust toolbox talk

22. Earthquakes

Earthquakes occur daily around the world and certain areas are more prone to earthquakes than others. Earthquakes range in severity, from being barely noticeable to being a natural disaster. If your workplace is in an earthquake prone area it is important that your workers know how to stay safe during and after an earthquake, to prevent injuries.

→ Read the detailed Earthquakes toolbox talk

23. Electrical Safety

Working with electricity is dangerous. There are many daily hazards that can lead to injury or death, such as overhead power lines and faulty electrical tools. In the workplace, there are a number of ways in which electric currents may be present: from service within buildings to powerlines used outside. Take the time to remind people of best practices.

→ Read the detailed Electrical Safety toolbox talk

24. Emergency Preparedness - Pandemic

Pandemics have the potential to lead to high levels of illness, death, social disruption, and economic loss. They also happen once every 10 years. In the event of a pandemic, businesses have the opportunity to play a key role in protecting their employees’ health and safety, and that of their customers/clients. Talk about transmission reduction and contact tracing

25. Equipment, Machine and Tool Guards

When it comes to protecting workers from the dangers of a work environment, there are many ways machine guards can help. Guards protect moving parts that could cause severe workplace injuries such as crushed fingers or hands, cuts or amputations, and burns. When used correctly, guard equipment helps prevent clothing and body contact with dangerous machinery which will keep you safe in your workplace!

→ Read the detailed Equipment, Machine and Tool Guards toolbox talk

26. Ergonomics at Work

Ergonomics is all about the science of making work safer and more comfortable for humans. Topics that fall under this category include stretching, proper manual handling techniques, preventing repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis from overuse (especially in high-risk industries), and limiting exposure to vibration.

27. Evacuation procedures

Evacuation procedures should be in place for each workplace and everyone on site needs to know what to do and where to go in an emergency. No two emergencies are the same so understand the differences in your plans for different events. There will be people who have been assigned specific roles in an emergency, so make sure everyone knows what they are  and how these people will be identified.

→ Read the detailed Evacuation procedures toolbox talk

28. Excavation

Proper planning is important when a ground breaking operation takes place. Many hazards can be eliminated or mitigated properly at the beginning of digging operations if identified in the initial stages. Common risks include location, surrounding property and structures, people near to site, and cave-ins.

29. Eye Safety

Eye injuries are a constant threat to the safety of any workplace. Flying particles, dust and flashes can cause serious damage in an instant if you're not wearing protection or proper eyewear for your job type. Protective eyewear includes things like:

  • Non-prescription protective glasses (to shield from flying particles)
  • Goggles with side shields
  • Welding helmets 

→ Read the detailed Eye Safety toolbox talk

30. Eye Strain

Eye strain happens when your eyes get tired from intense use. Examples of activities that can cause eye strain are driving for long periods, working in low light, glare from computer screens, or sun glare from vehicle windscreens or the road conditions. 

→ Read the detailed Eye Strain toolbox talk

31. Fall Protection Anchor Systems

Anchor points are important for workers, who are working at heights as part of a Fall protection system. A worker will connect their lifeline to an Anchor, which is the secure connection point for a Fall protection system. This Anchor point must be the right type and correctly installed to protect the worker from hitting the ground.

→ Read the detailed Fall Protection Anchor Systems toolbox talk

32. Fatigue Management

Fatigue is a state of mental or physical exhaustion that reduces your ability work safely and effectively. Fatigue can be work related or non-work related or a combination of both and can build up over time. This can lead to workplace incidents and injuries.

→ Read the detailed Fatigue Management toolbox talk

33. Fire Extinguisher

Employees should be reminded of the location and usage of fire extinguishers in the event of an emergency. Discuss the different types of fire and the right extinguisher to use. 

→ Read the detailed Fire Extinguisher toolbox talk

34. Fire Prevention

Fire in a workplace can cause injury, death, and severe damage to property. It is important that employers and employees know how to prevent fire, practise fire safety and what to do if a fire occurs.

→ Read the detailed Fire Prevention toolbox talk

35. First Aid

Discuss this topic during your toolbox talk. Make sure everyone on the team is knowledgeable of first-aid arrangements in place, where equipment and supplies are stored, emergency contacts when someone gets hurt badly enough that you need help from professionals instead of just yourself or a teammate.

→ Read the detailed First Aid toolbox talk

36. Footwear

The right footwear for the job is important to prevent injuries and to keep our feet comfortable. Hazards that our feet can be exposed to in the workplace include falling objects, sharp objects underfoot, chemicals, water, heat and cold. The right footwear can also prevent accidents from slips, trips and falls. Protective footwear is designed to protect our feet from hazards like sharp objects, heat, cold, falling objects, and more. Now would be a good time to make sure your protective footwear is in great condition!

→ Read the detailed Footwear toolbox talk

37. Forklift Safety

The use of forklifts in the workplace opens your team to risks such as injury and death. It is important for everyone on site, including those who are not operating a forklift, be made aware of basic safety practices that can help reduce these hazards. Make sure all employees know about blind spots with regard to forklifts so they're never caught off guard by one; always stay alert!

→ Read the detailed Forklift Safety toolbox talk

38. Frostbite

This condition happens when you are exposed to temperatures below the freezing point of your skin. Frostbite can happen in cold wind, rain, or snow. The most common body parts to get frostbite are the cheeks, ears, nose, hands, and feet. Talk about how to protect yourself from frostbite and how to treat exposure.

39. Gas Safety

Gas misuse and gas leaks can lead to fires and explosions which cause death, injury, property damage, and environmental pollution.  In this talk, focus on how proper use, installation, and maintenance are critical when dealing with anything related to gases.

40. Guard Rails

One of the most important aspects of being protected from a fall is the equipment or safeguards you select. Where there is a risk of falling, an employer must always look for ways to eliminate the risk of an injury from a fall. Discuss when guardrails may be an appropriate choice on site.

41. Hand Safety

The hands are the most common way that we come into contact with hazardous substances at work every day, so it's important to always use gloves when handling these materials. Additionally, gloves can help protect us from cuts, stings, and abrasions. Glove choice is important as is storage.

→ Read the detailed Hand Safety toolbox talk

42. Hand Tool Safety

Injuries can happen if the wrong hand tool is used for the job, if the tool is in poor condition, is not used correctly or the correct PPE is not worn.

→ Read the detailed Hand Tool Safety toolbox talk

43. Hazard Assessment

Employers have a duty to protect their workers and others from harm in the workplace. To do this, they must identify and control any hazards. Likewise, workers need to know about the hazards on the job and how to protect themselves. The aim of this toolbox is to provide education on how to assess a workplace for any potential hazards.

→ Read the detailed Hazard Assessment toolbox talk

44. Head Protection

Head protection is a vital piece of PPE!

Hard hats are the main piece of head protection that protects us from potential brain damage or other head injuries that results from the impact of falling or flying objects. It also protects the head from electric shock. To provide maximum protection, head protection hard hats must be fitted correctly and worn according to manufacturer’s instructions and country standards.

→ Read the detailed Head Protection toolbox talk

45. Hearing protection

Prolonged exposure to noise exceeding 85 decibels (dB), about the same loudness as a vacuum cleaner, can cause permanent hearing loss. Talk about hearing protection devices and give examples of work that require hearing protection.

46. Heat Stress

Summertime can bring new risks to the workplace and heat stress is one of them. Find a cool place to sit down and talk about heatstroke and sun burn

→ Read the detailed Heat Stress toolbox talk

47. Hoisting Signals

If a crane is working on site it does not hurt to make sure that everyone has an idea of what hosting signals look like. Clear communication is key when it comes to work of this nature and the slightest miscommunication can be fatal to the signaller, crane operator, and other workers on the worksite

48. Home Office Ergonomics

A lot of people think ergonomics is just about chairs and keyboards, but it’s actually not. You have to be mindful of your body position regardless of what equipment you have. Cover things like equipment positioning, rest breaks and stretching.

49. Housekeeping

A large number of workplace accidents like slips, trips, and falls can be prevented by having a clean and tidy workplace. The other bonus of a clean workplace is that it's usually more organized and therefore more productive.

→ Read the detailed Housekeeping toolbox talk

50. Hydrogen Sulfide

Hydrogen sulfide is an extremely flammable gas that is very toxic when inhaled. Petroleum, natural gas, and hot springs are some of the places it occurs naturally. It can also be produced by the
breakdown of bacteria from human and animal wastes (e.g. sewage) as well as industrial activities. It's important to recognize where it may be found and the symptoms of exposure.

51. Inert Gases

Inert gases are odourless and colourless, they do not burn or explode. Yet these types of gas often displace oxygen in poorly ventilated areas. Help your team become more aware of hazardous material labeling and use appropriate guides to usage.

52. Ladder safety

Ladder accidents are more common than any other work-related equipment and it is important to have a clear understanding of the rules for safe ladder use. Make sure you inspect your ladder before usage, take appropriate precautions during unsafe actions on the ladder, choose a proper height and type of ladders that suit particular job requirements.

→ Read the detailed Ladder safety toolbox talk

53. Lead

Exposure to lead can have an adverse effect on your health and cause diseases. All people are most at risk of exposure when they enter industrial, construction zones which create dust or vapour from the toxic metal.

54. Leg safety

The three parts of the leg that get injured the most are the knee, the Achilles tendon, and the ankle. Talk about situations that are most likely to cause injury and first aid treatment for common injuries. Hint: R.I.C.E.

55. Legionella

Under the right conditions, water systems can be the ideal place for the growth of legionella bacteria. The is the cause of Legionnaires Disease. Talk about locations and conditions where you find legionella bacteria. Also, cover appropriate controls.

56. Lighting Conditions

Lighting plays an essential role in proactive defence against accidents and injuries. When lighting conditions are optimal, productivity can increase while improving the quality of work. Optimal lighting provides workers with an environment where they can clearly read labels and instructions; allowing them to identify tripping hazards or perform tasks at hand safely.

57. Lone Working

Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. A person is considered to be lone working if they have neither visual nor audible communication with someone else, and this topic should cover the risks of being a lone worker through assessing procedure for the job at hand and talking about how one can communicate while on their own when needed.

58. Manual Handling

Damage to the back can affect us for the rest of our lives. Heavy lifting, repetitive movements, and sitting at a desk all day can weaken the back. Talk about safe lifting techniques, exercises, and stretching. Also, cover off the need to report injuries and seek medical advice.


→ Read the detailed Manual Handling toolbox talk

59. Method Statement

Method statements could be written for any piece of work that is considered hazardous or non-routine. These are useful to record specific hazards and communicate the risks to all persons involved. These should form part of the Safe system of work for employees or contractors.

→ Read the detailed Method Statement toolbox talk

60. Mind on safety

A general talk on being mindful of safety is always time well spent. It's important to be aware and vigilant for hidden hazards before starting work, concentrating on the task at hand as much as possible, and going above and beyond in reporting potential hazards so they can get taken care of ASAP.

61. Mould and Mildew

Mould spores are always present outdoors and often find a way indoors. Mould growths or colonies can begin to grow on wet surfaces, but some moulds pose more of an issue than others. Black mounds in particular can be hazardous if inhaled. Understanding where mould can be found and how to mitigate risks is important.

62. Near Misses

A near miss is when an accident or incident that nearly happens, it’s an unplanned event that caused no injury, illness or damage but had the potential to do so. 

When a near miss happens, it’s easy to feel relieved that nothing serious happened and then just forget about it. However, another person or even the same person is very likely to be injured by that same hazard moments later or on another day. 

Have you ever thought to yourself, “whew, that was a close call” when something has happened in the workplace? That is an indication of a near miss, and you should report it!

→ Read the detailed Near Misses toolbox talk

63. Noise Exposure

Exposure to hazardous noise at work or at home can lead to permanent hearing loss or Tinnitus (ringing in the ear). The damage can result from short exposure to loud noises or prolonged exposure to lower levels of noise. Hearing loss can also result from exposure to ototoxic substances which are chemicals that can cause hearing loss or tinnitus. It is important to understand how loud is too loud and how to protect yourself from harm.

→ Read the detailed Noise Exposure toolbox talk

64. Permits To Work

A Permit to Work may be used by many industries for a specific task that is required to be undertaken by an employer or contractor that is potentially high risk. Permits to work are important because they form part of a Safe system of work, which can help manage work activities.

→ Read the detailed Permits To Work toolbox talk

65. Personal Care and Conduct

Personal care means making positive choices that enhance your physical, mental and spiritual health. This includes things like exercising, eating healthy, keeping sharp mentally and putting an end to unhealthy habits such as smoking. Personal care not only aids in maintaining overall health but can also help reduce workplace injuries by protecting against injury-causing accidents while on the job!

66. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is anything worn or used by a person to minimise the risks to a person’s health and safety. It’s designed to protect employees by reducing their exposure to chemical, biological and physical hazards. It is used by workers when other workplace exposure control measures do not completely manage the risk.

→ Read the detailed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) toolbox talk

67. Power Line Safety

A high voltage power line can be dangerous to you and others around it.  Not paying attention to your surroundings, underestimating the height or width of equipment, fatigue - these are all common causes for contacting a power line with large equipment such as trucks and tractors. Be aware of your surroundings.

68. Presenteeism

Showing up to work when you shouldn’t can be a health and safety risk. Most common forms of Presenteeism include: Working while sick, too much or when distracted with personal issues are examples of when not to be at work.

69. Protecting the Public

Employers have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to protect their workers, other workers, and anyone else, including the public, from any harm that could arise from work and/or worksites under their control. This toolbox talk identifies various hazards that are particularly relevant for the public and discusses strategies to mitigate risk.

→ Read the detailed Protecting the Public toolbox talk

70. Rebar and Impalement Hazards

Steel reinforcing bars, rebar for short, are a common safety hazard on construction sites. These steel bars can cut and scratch workers with their sharp ends which can result in serious injuries or death. To eliminate this risk, these projections should be guarded against impalement by using various methods such as bar covers or guards of some other type.

71. Refuelling

There is always a risk of fire or explosion if a source of ignition is present around highly flammable liquids. Talk about refuelling procedures in place, arrangements for the use, storage and handling of fuel and standard signage to be aware of.

72. Respiratory Protection

Hazardous airborne contaminants can cause serious injury or death if the risks associated with breathing in the contaminants are not controlled. Health and Safety legislation requires that reasonable and practicable steps must be taken to prevent harm from breathing in hazardous airborne contaminants. Often, this involves wearing a respirator.

→ Read the detailed Respiratory Protection toolbox talk

73. Rights and Responsibilities

Health and Safety legislation may differ around the world regarding worker’s Rights and their Responsibilities. The common purpose of health and safety legislation is to protect workers against harm to their health, safety and welfare at work as far as reasonably practicable.

→ Read the detailed Rights and Responsibilities toolbox talk

74. Risk Assessment

The PCBU has a duty to protect its workers and others from harm in the workplace. To do this, the PCBU must identify hazards in the workplace, risk assess those hazards, and put in place controls that eliminate or minimise the associated risk. The process of identifying a hazard is covered in the hazard assessment toolbox and the specific application of controls is covered in the various hazard specific toolboxes – this toolbox is on risk assessment.

The risk assessment process is an effective way to identify appropriate safety control measures, refresh worker knowledge, and engage workers in health and safety.

→ Read the detailed Risk Assessment toolbox talk

75. Road Work Safety

If you’re working on the road, carrying out essential works, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of accidents from occurring. Talk about the common hazards like moving vehicals driven by the public, repair equipment and natural hazards. 

→ Read the detailed Road Work Safety toolbox talk

76. Roof Work

Falls from height can cause serious injury or death if the risks associated with roof works are not controlled. Health and Safety legislation requires that reasonable and practicable steps must be taken to prevent harm from a fall from height.

→ Read the detailed Roof Work toolbox talk

77. Safe Use of Power Tools

Power tools are used in many industries and regularly by DIY enthusiasts. If people are not trained on how to use the tool correctly or do not follow manufacturer's instructions, it may cause severe injury. All mechanical motion is potentially hazardous.

→ Read the detailed Safe Use of Power Tools toolbox talk

78. Safety Culture

What makes an organization safe? Safety culture! Safety culture is the product of individual and group values, attitudes perceptions, competencies and patterns of behaviour that determine how committed people are to their company's health and safety. Take some time to understand if everyone's values are aligned.

79. Safety Nets

The Health and Safety at Work (HSAW) Act 2015 requires all reasonably practicable steps must be taken to prevent injury at a workplace. A fall from height poses a severe risk of injury or death. When properly installed, safety nets can reduce the distance and impact of a fall to minimise the likelihood of harm. 

There are no New Zealand standards that cover safety nets, but WorkSafe have published Best Practice Guidelines. To be effective, safety nets must be able to absorb all the energy from an impact and must be set up with enough clear space below to prevent collisions with any objects.

→ Read the detailed Safety Nets toolbox talk

80. Safety Signs

Safety signs are a mainstay of any work environment, and it's important to understand the different types.

81. Scaffold Safety

Falls from heights is one of the biggest killers on construction sites, most of which occur from a height of less than 4 metres. Scaffolding causes many of these incidents, largely due to workers becoming complacent to Scaffolding Safety procedures. It is critical that scaffolding is erected by appropriate persons, that it is regularly inspected and maintained, and that users are aware of the associated risks. Everyone on site has a duty to keep themselves and others safe.

→ Read the detailed Scaffold Safety toolbox talk

82. Sharp Objects

Knives, blades, saws are all examples of sharp instruments that can cause injuries in the workplace. Talks about the basics of safe handling and first aid procedures.

83. Silica Dust Exposure

Silicosis is a condition caused by inhaling too much silica over time. Silica dust particles act as tiny blades on the lungs. These particles create small cuts that can scar the lung tissue when inhaled through the nose or mouth. Any level of silica exposure can result in silicosis.

84. Site Access and Egress

Emergency access and egress are the most important factors in emergencies such as a fire or injury that requires medical attention. In this talk you could cover how to keep an area clean, preventing slips, falls and blockages which can be detrimental during these emergencies.

85. Skip Loaders

The movement of skips and containers cause death and serious injury. Think abuot how the area for collection can be made safe as possible and take the time to remind people of safety around moving vehicles.

86. Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips and falls are a common reason for many of the injuries in workplaces. They can cause minor injuries but can also lead to serious, long-term injuries. Many slip, trips and falls are avoidable and there are usually easy solutions a workplace can apply to control the risk, either by eliminating or minimising it. It could be as simple as cleaning up a spillage straight away, or moving a cord off a walkway which can prevent injuries from occurring.

→ Read the detailed Slips, Trips, and Falls toolbox talk

87. Social Distancing

One of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of infectious diseases is to simply stay away from one another. Remind people of how far apart they must be to keep people safe.

88. Stress

There is challenge and there is stress.

“Challenge” is motivating, while “Stress” drives poor decision-making that, at best, results in loss of productivity and, at worst, results in injury or death. Everyone in a workplace has a duty to identify and manage stress to keep everyone safe.

→ Read the detailed Stress toolbox talk

89. Stretching

Physically demanding work may lead to discomfort. Done consistently, stretching can compensate for awkward working positions (such as working overhead or bend over), maintain or increase flexibility, and improve circulation.

90. Temporary Heating

Construction must carry on year-round, through low temperatures and high winds. It's important to understand how to prevent worker injury from burns or carbon monoxide poisoning while working with temporary heating devices in damp conditions.

91. Temporary Stairs and Handrails

Temporary walkways and staircases are often used on the job site to help workers access various points of the site. If not properly installed, these temporary structures can result in falls which might cause serious injuries or even death in a worst-case scenario.

92. Traffic Control

Traffic control is an issue for people on a worksite and potentially members of the public visiting or surrounding the worksite. Talk about your site's traffic control plan. This will include things like, where the plan can be found, traffic routes, speed limits, restrictions and controls, and rules.


93. Trailer Towing

Some people can be embarrassed about their driving skills when towing a trailer. They may not have the necessary practice and skillset for operating vehicles on-site, so it's good to discuss training requirements. Training should include your vehicle's hauling capacity as well as whether any certifications are required in order to operate them at work sites or other places.

94. Tyre Safety

Tyres are one of the most essential safety components of a car. They provide grip for moving and friction to help you brake. Toolbox talks are a good time to have a conversation about tyre checks.

95. Underground Utilities

Working near underground services can pose a significant hazard to workers, public bypasses, and the business. The main services to be aware of are:

  • Water pipes
  • Gas pipes
  • Electricity cables
  • Telecommunication cables

→ Read the detailed Underground Utilities toolbox talk

96. Welder’s Flash

Welders Flash is one of the many hazards associated with welding. Talk about how to avoid exposure to both the welder and surrounding people. First aid procedures can be discussed as well.

97. Winter Site Safety

Winter can be a hazardous time of year. For construction companies, the winter months bring unique challenges such as slip and fall accidents, frostbite, hypothermia and dehydration.

98. Work refusal

There will be times when, for their safety, and employees will want to refuse to do work. Employers need to create a safe space to do so. Discuss circumstances where it's appropriate to refuse work and what this process looks like.

99. Working From Home

It can be difficult to manage conflicting obligations when there is no separation between work and home. Talk about workstation setup, having realistic goals, taking breaks, and staying connected to others.

100. Workplace Complacency

Complacency occurs in every workplace and individual complacency will differ to varying degrees. Complacency can be defined as self-satisfaction with yourself and your own abilities, especially when accompanied by a lack of awareness of present dangers or process deficiencies. Most jobs are repetitive, and gradually people can take things for granted, in their daily work. This can lead to health and safety risks to themselves and their colleagues.

→ Read the detailed Workplace Complacency toolbox talk

101. Youth in Construction

Younger people are in a unique position at work. They're inexperienced and unaware of the risks they could face on-site, so there should be special supervision for them as well as mentorship from experienced workers to make sure that these young ones know what's going on.

102. Zero harm

Zero harm is an explicit commitment to creating a safe environment. Everyone in the organization has their own responsibility towards safety, and Zero Harm ensures that everyone understands this fact. Whatever your opinion on whether or not it's possible for every accident from work-related activities will be avoided, working with zero harm can help create a safer workplace culture where all accidents are seen as preventable errors

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