The strength of the toolbox for pre-task security

Filed in HealthWatch by on October 7, 2019 0 Comments

The strength of the toolbox for pre-task security.

Name them toolbox talks, tailgate talks, moments of security, pre-employment meetings, job threat evaluations, risk assessments at the field level–you name it. We all have similar elements, however you call them, and they are done for the same reason.

The strength of the toolbox for pre-task security

The strength of the toolbox for pre-task security

And no, we’re not talking about safety meetings with coffee and donuts, the meetings meant to share information, education, or training on a short OSHA-style subject. That type of meeting is a powerful tool, too, and needs to be part of your safety management system (and might be required by company policies or legislation and regulation), but it’s not the subject of this article.

Security Power

These toolbox pre-task talks provide security power for your group.

Why? Because they are an act of interaction directed at a particular, recognizable and achievable attitude.

Think one word: Focus!

Toolbox talks put the tasks front of mind, along with the hazards, risks, and the roles each worker must play in doing the job. It puts you in the moment. You’re not thinking about the weekend ballgame, the bills, or what TV show you’re going to watch that night. It puts all your focus on the work.

Focusing on health

over the past 34 years I have been investigating and analyzing thousands of accidents and documents. What remains in my mind is how many of them included a response from a worker involved in the incident or injury process along the lines of “I wasn’t thinking about the job.” Or worse, “What was I talking about?” They were disengaged, not present–not centered.

Let’s take an example: flights from and to remote or isolated work sites by helicopter.

Together with one pilot, you have four employees on board. They load up at the end of a long day to fly home. The skids have heavy mesh machine baskets on the helicopter.

The boss and the crew want procedures

How to Offer an Effective Toolbox Talk

For this sort of conference, OSHA has set out some best practices.

Every discussion should go through the work series, list the hazards associated with that task, and outline how those hazards will be managed.

Here’s how OSHA suggests planning for these meetings: identify the mission Identify the roles and responsibilities Identify the hazards Identify the hazards Identify the hazards Identify the risk mitigation List of devices, equipment and PPE to be used Have emergency response data on hand Determine the number of presentations OSHA also advises that each employee sign a document attesting to the fact that  they have participated in the job briefing.

A Health and Meetings Management Act goes hand in hand. So do planning and safety. How well the security management system is run by your company (and you as the security practitioner) will decide your safety results.

Talks to the toolbox are a key to this process. Start now if you don’t already do them! Keep up the good work if you’re already.

These talks are a leadership act that benefits you, your company, and your employees.


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