OR-FACE Publishes More Toolbox Talk Guides

Safety communication is an integral part of maintaining an injury prevention culture.  Its implementation can be in a variety of methods such as warning labels, safety trainings and meetings, hazard alerts and informal communications between supervisors, workers, and co-workers.  In her ~30 years of experience as a safety and health professional, Illa Gilbert-Jones, program manager of the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) program, has learned that increasing the level of interaction between supervisor and workers about safety, positively influences safe behaviors. Moreover, if the interaction is about real world, relatable events, the impact can be significant.

Toolbox talks are a common form of safety communication, especially in construction but they have been used as daily pre-shift meetings in general industry.  OR-FACE has created several toolbox talk guides and recently published four.   These two-page documents are based on information gathered from Oregon fatality investigations.  One side of the toolbox talk is a simple line drawing for viewing from a distance and for ease in understanding the key elements of the incident.  At the bottom of the line drawing are key actions to prevent a similar incident.  On the other side, are instructions for leading the toolbox talk, a narrative of the incident, bulleted items that reiterate the key prevention actions and a list of questions to facilitate a discussion on current practices, unsafe conditions, and commitment to an  action plan.

The overarching goal of these toolbox talk guides is to provide supervisors/leaders with documents to increase interaction and positively influence safe behaviors. The format uses evidence-based safety communication principles and real-world (Oregon) relatable events.