Delivering an Effective Toolbox Talk

Toolbox talks, a short presentation focusing on a single health and safety topic, are an excellent way to give your team a safety refresher, reduce the number of accidents and injuries on site, and create a positive health and safety culture in your workplace.

As you might imagine, most workers don’t find health and safety all that thrilling (shocking, we know!), so might find your average toolbox talk a bit boring. But with a bit of practice, preparation and positivity, you can deliver an effective toolbox talk that will have a positive impact on your workforce.

Here’s what you need to know!

man on construction site holding clipboard Why are toolbox talks important?

Toolbox talks are a simple but effective way in which to refresh employee’s knowledge on workplace safety hazards related to their role. They can help with raising awareness of current issues as well as remind employees about ‘lower priority’ topics. By regularly holding toolbox talks, you can make Health and Safety a regular talking point, making it easier to discuss recent incidents as well as providing a platform for employee engagement.

What should your toolbox talk include?

Toolbox talks should be relevant to the employees working practices and sites they are working on. They should focus on one topic so that the message isn’t lost amongst other information and provide enough detail to cover the key points of the topic. If there have been any changes to the working conditions or if there have been any accidents, these should be covered also.

how to deliver an engaging toolbox talk infographic, covering what is described in the textHow can you keep people engaged in your toolbox talk?

Reading the toolbox talk before presenting it will assist in making delivery easier, this also allows for time to customise any areas of the talk that need to be made site specific. Practicing the talk will also give the presenter an idea of how long it will take. Ideally, they should be between 5-10 minutes. Staying on topic is key – try to avoid going off on a tangent as this will detract from the message being delivered. Encourage questions, not just at the end but throughout the talk as this will engage attendees, and stay positive to encourage interaction.

Where can you find a toolbox talk?

Looking for a toolbox talk? We have a selection on our blog that you are free to use, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please just get in touch! CITB also publish GT700 which has been designed to assist supervisors and managers in delivering toolbox talks, and can be purchased here.


Having good business communication skills can help you to convey ideas confidently and clearly – perfect for presentations and delivering toolbox talks. Make sure you don’t miss out on our 10% off deal on our Business Communication and Code of Conduct training courses, available until the end of January. Simply enter the code ‘training10’ at checkout to save!

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