Safety Talks

Browse the 250 completely free safety talks below! Print them off to use for your next safety meeting or moment with your crew. If you are looking for talks in Spanish or would like even more workplace safety resources, check out our Members Area! There are over 85 additional toolbox talks for members as well as our ebook, safety PowerPoint presentations, and more! Save time and money from having to create your own resources and instead use that time to continue furthering your safety program!

The safety toolbox talks listed below cover a variety of topics in multiple industries. Use the category links below to segment the talks by the specified category to easily find what you are looking for. You can also use the search function at the top of the page to quickly find a specific topic. Contact us if you have certain topics you would like to see covered on the site.


Separate Talks by Category:     BEHAVIORAL    |     CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY    |     GENERAL INDUSTRY    |    AT HOME    |    MOTOR VEHICLE    |     TOP PICKS      |     CULTURE BITS     |     MEMBER TALKS



Get More Safety Toolbox Talks

What Are Workplace Safety Talks?

Safety talks are a short safety message for the members of a work crew prior to work beginning. These talks can be as short as a few minutes or longer than 20 minutes. On average, they are in the range of 5 or 10 minutes long in duration at most companies when conducted often. The talks can cover a range of topics or just a single focal point.

Below are answers to some other common questions individuals may have about conducting these type of talks for their work crews.

What are Some Other Names for Safety Talks?

There are many names for safety talks. Some of the more common names are safety toolbox talks, toolbox talks, safety moments, safety briefings, safety pep talks, and tailgate meetings. For the most part many of these names represent the same thing. Although there can be slight differences between companies or industries.

Why are These Talks Important?

When done correctly, these talks can have a profound effect on the overall safety program at a workplace. Companies who spend the time to conduct these meetings are less likely to have injuries compared to a company who does not hold them on a regular basis.

Conducting meetings often is an effective way to deliver relevant and timely safety messages to an entire work crew. The time spent conducting these talks also goes a long way into reinforcing prior training efforts.

Even just holding a 5-minute meeting everyday equates to a massive amount of knowledge for your work force over a years’ time. To be exact- it results in over 20 hours of education per employee a year! (5 minutes X 5 work days per week X 50 work weeks= 1250 minutes… 1250 minutes/60 minutes per hour= 20.8 hours of education) Imagine the difference that education can make if you make the most out of every talk!

What Topics Should You Cover for These Talks?

The topic or topics you should cover for next safety toolbox talk will vary greatly from what topic(s) another company should be discussing. Some general questions you can ask yourself to narrow in on some topics:

  • What training needs reinforced?
  • What problems have we been having lately?
  • What are common injuries in this line of work?
  • What have our near misses been a result of?
  • What trends are occurring in the workplace or in our industry?

There are many other questions or guidelines you can use to determine what topics or topics you should cover. Keep topics useful, relevant, and timely.

Where Can I Find Safety Topics Online? Updated 2019

This site has one of the largest libraries of free topics found online today. That being said, there are also a number of great resources online to find topics for your next safety meeting. One of our favorite resources for topics is on OSHA’s website. They have a page called Safety and Health Topics that has a large list of high quality topics. Some other high quality and reputable sources for toolbox talks or materials to support talks:

For more resources check out our page of other EHS websites that offer free materials.

who should conduct safety talksWho Should Present a Safety Talk?

The person who is directing the work should be the one responsible for conducting or leading the safety talk. The responsibility at many companies, however, falls onto the safety officer or EHS manager instead. The reason for having the individual who is directing the work lead the talk is to show support of the message and efforts to work safely.

If it is constantly the EHS department’s responsibility to present then employees can be led to believe that the frontline supervisors or managers do not truly support safety. If the workers’ supervisors or managers are not participating in the safety efforts why should they?

The EHS department should instead serve more of an advisory role to the supervisor conducting the talk. They can provide the supervisor with topics, materials, or information for the talk as well as chime in as needed to add value.

How Often Should You Conduct Safety Talks?

There is no short and dry answer to how often your company should be conducting these talks. Some companies do multiple talks daily and other companies may only do them monthly. A monthly schedule is probably way too sparingly for most companies, and two talks a day may be too often for others.

Companies often find that conducting daily or weekly safety talks is the best choice. At many companies, daily safety meetings prior to work beginning is appropriate. Like mentioned earlier, these talks do have to be extremely long. A lot of value can be added in a short amount of time if the talks are completed often.

Where Should Safety Talks Be Conducted?

These talks should be held in a place where employees are comfortable and can focus. Meeting or break rooms are a common place where companies choose to hold their safety meetings. Another setting that can be even more effective is the work area(s) themselves.

This should only be done if the work area is comfortable, safe, and convenient for all involved in the talk. Conducting the talk in the work area itself can help employees visualize the information being conveyed as well as allow the presenter to point out specific examples of what they are discussing.

If holding it in the work area is not an option pictures or maps of the work site can be great tools so that employees can visualize what is being said.

What Else Can You Do to Have a Better Safety Meeting?

There are many things you can do to hold a better meeting. Below are a few quick tips that have not already been mentioned in this post:

  • Prepare ahead of time.
  • Keep topics relevant and timely to the audience.
  • Only take the time necessary to cover the topic; do not drag it out.
  • Get the audience involved by asking for stories or examples.
  • Use visual aids as needed to help get your message across.
  • Have fun- don’t take yourself so seriously!

For more tips check out this post on this site that outlines 10 tips for a better toolbox talk.

Does OSHA Require Toolbox Talks?

While OSHA does not specifically require a company to hold safety talks or toolbox talks in any of their standards, doing so can play a part in helping to ensure compliance with some standards. For example, OSHA requires that employers make employees aware of the hazards of the work that they do and how to eliminate them.

One specific example of this is found in the construction standard under 1926.21(b)(2) where OSHA states: “The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury”.

While training will be a large part in ensuring compliance with this specific regulation, these type of talks are also a way to help to ensure compliance. These talks need to have the correct documentation to do so.

How Should You Document Safety Toolbox Talks?

Without documenting these efforts, there is no actual proof they were done. Meaning there is nothing to show OSHA or someone in your company in response to whether or not you were educating your employees on the hazards involved in their work.

Every time a talk is conducted a sign-in sheet should be completed by the presenter and signed by everyone present for the meeting. Some guidelines for documentation:

  • Include the date and time.
  • Include the presenter(s) name(s).
  • Have everyone sign the sheet.
  • Be detailed about what topics were discussed.
  • Attached any materials used for the talk to the sign-in sheet.
  • File documentation in chronological order so they can be easily found to reviewed if needed.

Summary

The answers to the who, what, when, why, and how of safety talks can be as long of list as the possible topics you could cover in your next meeting. The bottom line is your company should be conducting these talks on a regular basis as well as giving thought on how to continually improve on giving them. Use some of the insight here and tailor it to your company’s needs.