When it comes to the construction and field service industries, concerns that tend to loom in the back of every project manager’s mind are a potential employee injury, structural disaster, or some other catastrophe happening on their job site. While many mistakes, missteps, and equipment malfunctions are unavoidable, there are steps you can take on top of following the minimal safety requirements to protect your crew from danger.
One simple yet effective way to do this is by holding regular “toolbox talks” before starting a project. And with the recent crane accident at Google’s Seattle campus that resulted in four deaths, along with the construction industry accounting for 1 in 5 work-related fatalities in the United States—the time to take every precaution to enhance worker safety is now.
What is a Toolbox Talk?
A toolbox talk is an informal meeting focused on topics related to safety and tailored to the specific job a crew is working on, such as job site hazards and safe work practices. During these meetings, both workers and supervisors get to share their tips, status updates, and insights to help crews safely navigate the project they’re working on. While construction and field service businesses of all sizes are beginning to adopt toolbox talks, the concept is still very new to many.
Here are just a handful of reasons why your company should begin implementing toolbox talks into your job site procedures.
Creating a culture of safety at your company.
Company culture is important to all parts of your business. It lets your employees know what core values you hold in high esteem, along with what’s not acceptable at your company. By hosting toolbox talks, you’ll reinforce to your employees how important safety is at your company, increasing the chances your workers think twice before making a potentially dangerous decision that might put them or their fellow crew members in jeopardy.
Creating camaraderie in your crews.
Not only do toolbox talks equip workers with the safety knowledge they need to execute a job, they can also help create an overall sense of camaraderie between you, your crew members, and the company as a whole. By getting your workers involved in either leading a toolbox talk or simply asking for their input, they may feel more appreciated, resulting in boosted team morale and job site productivity.
Leaving nothing to chance.
Every construction or field service project is different, and comes with its own unique challenges as a result. By leading a toolbox talk before your crew gets started on these jobs, you’ll be able to give them first hand advice specific to that job as opposed to generic safety tips which might not apply or be useful for certain projects. Toolbox talks will help get every worker on the same page when it comes to safety, project after project.
Showing your workers you care.
On a final note, having toolbox talks on a regular basis also shows you care about the well-being of your employees enough to take this extra step to keep them safe. With the labor shortage in construction continuing, keeping your current employees happy and satisfied with their current workplace is more important than ever before—and having Toolbox Talks is one way to increase employee loyalty to the company.
No matter how long you’ve been in the construction or field service industry, it never hurts to take extra precautionary steps toward becoming a safer organization. By hosting toolbox talks regularly, you’ll create a company culture focused on safety, and a more productive workforce ready to tackle whatever projects come their way. If you’re interested in learning more about how to organize and carry out a toolbox talk, you can check out this resource here.