WHS Toolbox Meetings – The what, why and how explained

by | Aug 18, 2014 | Employers Tips

When conducting a Tool box meeting you should remember that the purpose is to keep workers informed of potential hazards, any safety and reporting procedures as well as offer training. Try not to overwhelm the workers with lots of information. Instead, have shorter and more regular meetings, leaving the workers with a couple points to absorb each meeting.

Regular toolbox meetings will alert workers to potential workplace hazards, prevent accidents, illnesses and prevent on-the-job injuries.  It also nurtures a safety culture, involving workers in all aspects of workplace health and safety at an informal level, encouraging open communication and solidifies the supervisor’s authority

When conducting a toolbox meeting, ensure that you have an agenda. Record the Date and time of the meeting and who was present at the meeting

Ensure to record the meeting discussion-points, any action items, including what is going to be done, when and by whom. If you use a recording device, still type out the minutes and keep both print and audio on file.

Examples of general topics that can be discussed during the Toolbox meeting could include: Signature Staff - WHS

·   Accident / Incident / Hazard reporting

·   Fire and evacuation procedures,

·   Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

·   New tools or equipment
Ensure that you research the information and plan the delivery; Do not try to “wing it”!

You should tailor the topics to your industry and current trends in your workplace. For example: If one your workers had slip / fall incident recently, then that would be a good topic to choose at your next meeting.

To conduct the meeting, the supervisor should hold the meeting somewhere everyone can sit, won’t be disturbed and can concentrate on what is discussed (perhaps the staff room).

If you conduct training during the toolbox meeting, it is important to record who have completed, ensuring that each person signs a training sheet.

Encourage worker participation by asking their opinion; they often know best what and where the dangers are.

To help transfer learning among employees, you could provide a one-page handout about the topic, the procedures, who to contact and any other important information discussed.

If there are any workers that were absent at the meeting, ensure that a copy of the minutes are given to each person and that they receive individual instructions and training as soon as possible; this to avoid segregation and keep everybody at the same level.

If you would like more information or help with your WHS processes, give us a call on ph: 07 4050 3888 or click here to visit our online e-shop to obtain essential forms, templates and resources

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  1. wolfggang Rostel

    Is it law to have your signature after a tool box meeting?

    • mats

      Businesses are legally required to train and consult with their workers in regards to safety at work and toolbox safety talks are a popular and proven step in helping fulfill that requirement. It’s also common to have workers signing off on training, but there is no legal requirement as such.

  2. John

    Is it law that a toolbox meeting should be held during work hours?

    • mats

      Thanks John, Toolbox meetings are generally used to distribute work related information and/or training and should therefore be held during paid time.

  3. jack

    Are toolbox meetings a legistlative requirement in Western Australia?

  4. Kevin

    If you have not attended a tool box meeting but have received a short email saying some like stay away from working fork lift are you required to sign saying you understand or should you say you have not attended toolbox talk which is what interstate employees have to do we have not attended any toolbox meetings at all we just get an email with what the toolbox meeting was about but we are never involved in any so called meetings


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