Why I Started Writing Toolbox Talks from Scratch

Writing toolbox talks

If you’re reading this, you likely have to write or use toolbox talks as part of your job.

You’re a crew supervisor who is supposed to deliver toolbox talks—but you don’t know how to create them.

You’re an EHS manager who is responsible for making sure everyone at your worksite receives regular toolbox talks—but you don’t have the time or resources to make sure that happens.

You’re a safety professional who doesn’t have time to write, research and facilitate toolbox talks.

You just need good toolbox talks and all the ones you’ve found online are ineffective and not relevant—or you’ve already used them!

I started Pro Toolbox Talk for people just like you.

I used to work at a site that had a real problem with ladders. It wasn’t a falls from heights issue, because once workers were climbing the ladder they were fine. But getting on and off the ladder caused a whole lot of twisted ankles, sprains and even a few broken bones.

Everyone knew it was a problem. We talked about it at every monthly safety meetings. But workers used ladders so often that eventually they forget about the problem and then: bam. Another person slips or stumbles on the bottom few rungs.

We decided to hold a few toolbox talks about the issue. Our hope was that more frequent reminders would help keep the problem in perspective.

And then came the hard part: finding a good toolbox talk on the issue.

It was hard enough to find anything that addressed the problems we were facing. Everything I came across on the Internet was generic. Not to mention that there was nothing in the toolbox talks I found to catch workers’ attention.

Plus, I had to deliver several toolbox talks on the same issue over a six-week period. How was I going to keep the topic from going stale?

So I decided to write my own toolbox talks.

What started as a simple bit of research for those talks turned into an enormous amount of time and energy developing a system for creating toolbox talks that work (and what doesn’t work too).

I learned about motivational techniques and how important it was to incorporate pep talk methodology. I discovered how to blend adult-learning principles into toolbox talks. I found the most efficient sequence to deliver talks. I uncovered the value of varying the format and engagement methods of toolbox talks in order to cover the same issues again and again without workers getting bored and tuning me out.

I’ve taken what I learned from those initial toolbox talks, and in the years of perfecting the craft of writing safety talks that followed, and applied it here at Pro Toolbox Talks. You can spend years writing toolbox talks and will learn all the same things I did—or you can take my word for it and rely on the resources that I’ll provide here over the coming months and years.

Every single toolbox talk you use from Pro Toolbox Talk will have all the elements I just mentioned (and a few I haven’t too). The talks provide better motivation, more employee engagement, and longer-lasting attention to safety.

I encourage you to check out our free toolbox talks. You’ll be able to see how easy each talk is to follow—anyone can pick one up and use it right away. You’ll notice how straightforward each talk is. And you’ll get a small sampling of the variety of formats and types of discussions that keep these talks relevant and engaging.

Save yourself having to write toolbox talks for the next few weeks. If you get stuck you can download a few of mine. And let me know what you think—because I also learned that writing the perfect toolbox talk requires a lot of feedback and small adjustments. Provide me with your opinion and I’ll keep providing you with well-written toolbox talks.

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