Coolbox Talks

The Toolbox Talk (or Tailgate Talk) is a well-known and commonly used activity to inform and engage workers (Employees & Contractors) to keep them alert to work-related hazards. They typically have the following attributes to refresh knowledge & exchange information between veterans & novices:

  • Focus on single aspect of Health & Safety.
  • Short in duration.
  • At or near the place of work (jobsite) in a comfortable location/setting.
  • Prior to commencement of an activity or shift.
  • Informal.

The best talks encourage participation, have group discussions and allow attendees to share their personal experience related to the topic of the talk – all with goal of creating and sustaining a positive safety culture.

Conversely, Toolbox/Tailgate talks can become ineffective (lose engagement) if/when they:

  • Lack focus or appeal:
    • Irrelevant topics – not associated with forthcoming work
    • Poor preparation – trainer not knowledgeable or briefed
    • Not interesting – boring or forgettable
    • Stale – lack of variety leads to complacency (“Been there, done that – let’s get this over with“)
  • Are badly scheduled:
    • Too brief – not enough time to absorb
    • Too long – lose interest
    • Too early – forgotten before start work
    • Too late – desperate to get on with work (or go home)
  • Use inappropriate language:
    • Too technical – difficult to understand/remember
    • Not local – multicultural/international teams who may not all speak English
  • Lack continuity or follow-up
    • No supporting documents or materials to refer to.
    • No checks/challenges to confirm awareness/adoption.

Our Integrity Cards are designed to facilitate (catalyse) conversations (both Toolbox/Tailgate Talks for frontline Stakeholders and Safety Meetings/Moments for Leaders & Duty Holders) by being:

  • Visual & Memorable
  • Accessible & Portable
  • Adaptable

We were very pleased to learn from Mr Jerson Wattie of The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) how his colleagues were interacting with prototype Process Safety Cards to inform & remind them of potential Loss of Containment (LoC) events:

These sessions were held informally and by all accounts were very well attended and received.

So … to complement your Toolbox Talks, maybe you should consider ‘Coolbox Talks*‘ where the technical & time pressures of the workplace are removed/reduced and participants can absorb & retain knowledge in an informal yet informative environment.

*You may know these are Coolers, Chilly Bins or even Esky’s – but you get the idea!

For more information on all our cards & initiatives – please contact us.

All materials (physical cards/boxes and digital cards/platforms) can be customised to match your technical & local languages – please visit our Options page for more details.

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