A Year’s Worth of Toolbox Talks

Toolbox talks are a chance to bring the team together and get everyone on the same page. To get the most out of your toolbox talks, you need to put together a tight ten, which means you need a clearly defined subject, key points, and room for questions.

Your toolbox talks should always be relevant to the jobsite, but coming up with a topic every day can be a struggle. Safesite put together a year-long calendar of toolbox talks that you can use to cover safety basics, open up discussions, and start to tackle total health and wellness at work.

Feeling stuck for toolbox talk topics? Use Safesite’s calendar of safety meeting topics (complete with free resources) to get started.

January

  • Winter Safety: Cold Stress
    • Winter temperatures reach their lowest points in January, but work doesn’t stop. Talk to workers about the signs of cold stress and how to prevent them during this January toolbox talk.
    • Need help getting started? Grab this free cold stress toolbox talk from the Missouri Department of Labor.
  • Sun Safety: How to Prevent Skin Cancer
    • Sun safety isn’t a summer issue. It’s a problem all year round. Talk to teams about protecting their skin from the sun during winter by covering up and wearing SPF, especially when working with ice and snow. 
    • Find more information from the Skin Cancer Foundation.
  • Parking Lot Safety: Navigating Parking Lots in Icy Weather
    • Slips, trips, and falls become a bigger risk in cold, wet weather. Run a toolbox talk to help workers better navigate parking lots and the associated risks.
    • Looking for more? Find some talking points from the Iowa Department of Public Health.


February

  • American Heart Month – Coping with Stress
    • Construction workers, in particular, struggle with the effects of a high-stress work environment and job market. Stress has negative impacts on the human heart. Run a toolbox talk centered on stress management and coping skills with a reminder to reach out for available resources as required.
    • Get more resources on heart health to share with your team from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
  • National Burn Awareness Week – Burn Care and Electrical Safety
    • Over 400,000 Americans suffer life-changing burns each year. Most of them are preventable. Run two toolbox talks this month on burns: how to care for a burn and how to prevent them through the safe use of electricity.

March

April

  • Distracted Driving Awareness Month & National Work Zone Awareness Week
    • April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and there’s more everyone can do to ensure our roads are safer. Find a roundup of six safe driving topics in this popular Safesite post.
  • Accident Reporting
    • How do workers report accidents? What accidents should they report? And why should they tell you about near-misses? Create a toolbox talk covering your accident reporting procedures and the importance of timely reporting of injuries and illnesses.

May

  • National Electrical Safety Month
    • Electrical hazards plague us at home and work. Unfortunately, they are also one of the leading causes of construction fatalities.
    • Get free toolbox talk resources from the ESFI.
  • Clean Air Month
    • For construction workers, clean air can be hard to come by. Use the respiratory protection program toolbox talk to explore airborne hazards and the relevant protection. Get Safesite’s free respiratory protection toolbox talk
  • National Water Safety
    • Water safety is as much an occupational as it is a deeply personal risk. Re-run any water safety meetings you already have and consider remaining workers of key principles that they can use at work or by the pool.
    • Find free resources from the American Red Cross.

June – National Safety Month

  • National Forklift Safety Day
    • Help forklift operators drive safely by running through inspection, maintenance, and operation essentials. Get this free forklift toolbox talk from Safesite.
  • National Secure Your Load Day
    • Road debris contributed to over 200,000 crashes between 2016 and 2020. Those crashes led to 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths. Remind crews of the importance of securing goods before transport with a toolbox talk.
    • Grab a free toolbox talk from SecureYourLoad.com.
  • Trailer Safety Week
    • Safe towing is on the agenda this month. Run a trailering toolbox talk to complement the secure your load talk and reinforce safe driving and towing principles.
    • Find free materials from Trailer Safety Week

July

  • National Heatstroke Prevention Day
    • Heat stress can turn into heatstroke quickly. Help workers understand the dangers of working in hot temperatures and spot symptoms of heat stress disorders quickly.
    • Get a free heat stress template from Safesite

August

  • Safe + Sound Week
    • Safe + Sound is OSHA’s year-round campaign to encourage every workplace to implement a worker health and safety program. This is a great week to run toolbox talks on your company’s processes and procedures.
    • Stuck for ideas? Get free content directly from OSHA
  • Leptospirosis/Weil’s Disease
    • Farmers aren’t the only occupations at risk of Leptospirosis. Water and sewage workers, construction workers, pest control, divers, and water sports instructors are all at risk of this infection. Run a tool a toolbox talk to remind workers of bio-hazards in water, including and especially Leptospirosis.
    • Use this CDC page to create a toolbox talk on the risks of Weil’s Disease and the importance of hygiene when working around water.

September

  • National Preparedness Month
    • National Preparedness Month asks you to get involved in preparing for natural disasters as well as unexpected emergencies, such as active shooters or a terrorist event.
    • Find great information from FEMA, the Red Cross, and the Department of Homeland Security.
  • Fall Prevention Awareness Week
    • Whether up, down, or from a height, there’s no shortage of ways to fall at work. Run these free Safesite toolbox talks to reinforce fall prevention tactics during Fall Prevention Awareness Week.
    • Originally published by CPWR, the meeting informs workers of the dangers of working around holes. Use this CPWR meeting to cover the dangers of working around scaffolding and how best to work on and around scaffolding.

October

November

  • Slips, Trips, and Falls
    • Slips, trips, and falls are among the most common causes of recordable workplace injuries. As the weather turns and more rain and snow creep into the forecast, remind workers of the hazards of walking and working on slippery surfaces.
    • Get a free slips, trips, and falls toolbox talk from Safesite.
  • Carbon Monoxide

December

  • Holiday Stress Relief
    • The most wonderful time of the year can be stressful for a myriad of reasons. Explore ways to manage and reduce stress in the workplace during the holiday season and create a toolbox talk for your team. Ideas include discussing prioritization, simplifying workflows
  • Safety at Home

Tips for Designing Your Own Toolbox Talks

Anyone can design a specialized toolbox talk that covers the issues most important to your industry and site. All you need to do is break it down into three parts:

  • Introduce your subject and its importance
  • Outline your key points
  • Wrap up with a key takeaway

A toolbox talk is a chance for you to share important safety information, but it’s also a forum for workers to speak up and engage. So build time in for questions and don’t forget to ask open-ended questions to the crew to get the conversation started.

If in doubt, keep it short. A toolbox talk shouldn’t last any more than 15 minutes, including Q&A time.

Tip: Toolbox talks work best when you make them a habit, but they can feel like one more thing you have to remember. Add them to your or your crew’s to-do list by setting a weekly toolbox talk quota with Safesite. Then, everyone assigned will see their outstanding toolbox talk right in the app.

Get More Free Safety Resources

Has this calendar of safety topics got your wheels turning? Keep up the momentum by downloading Safesite, the only free-forever safety app.

Safesite users enjoy free access to Safesite’s entire template library, full of free OSHA inspections, checklists, and toolbox talks. Get started with Safesite in two minutes or less.

Nikki Olson

By Nikki Olson

Nikki Olson is a former commercial archaeologist and former Content Marketing Manager at Safesite. When Nikki’s not waist-deep in writing and editing, she’s in over her head surfing and kayaking around Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.

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