Over the last year, we’ve published a series of toolbox talks covering all the chapters from the REHIS Elementary Health and Safety Course.

We’ve worked hard to make sure you and your team understand the basic health and safety regulations, guidelines and best practice.

If you’ve not yet read our blog ‘What’s the deal with toolbox talks’ then here’s a super quick summary:

A toolbox talk is a short, informal discussion that focuses on one particular safety issue at a time. It’s a regular 5-10 minute chat that helps keep health and safety at the front of everyone’s mind — making your work much safer.

Toolbox talk template 2

For each toolbox talk, we included some background knowledge, some sources for more information and a bullet point list of things to check off.

But we want to make it even easier for you to host a toolbox talk so we’ve broken down how to plan and schedule your own. We’ve even included some tips and tricks from our team of safety connoisseurs here at Safety Training Scotland.

It’s a guiding template and we hope it will help you plan and execute your own toolbox talks.


Planning your toolbox talks

Before you go bonkers and schedule a hundred talks, try and draw up a quick plan of the topics you want the talks to cover.

Toolbox talk template 3

It’s a good idea to have a brainstorm meeting with floor managers and middle managers to see what the pressing issues are and how their team could benefit from the toolbox talks. The staff that work in the canteen will have completely different health and safety concerns than those who work on shop floors, in production or in the office.

To gather a wholesome overview of what knowledge could be useful for your specific team, chat to different people in your organisation and hear what their safety concerns are.


Scheduling your talks

Now that you’ve got a good overview of what you want to cover, it’s time to get the dates in everyone’s’ calendars.

It’s generally a good idea to schedule your talks at the start of the day. If you do your talks at 16:50, employees will be exhausted and have their minds on what they’re having for tea.


Keep the talks short and sweet

Equipped with a list of topics to cover, it’s time to break them down into manageable 5 to 10-minute chunks.

The whole point of toolbox talks are to keep them sweet and short so what you can cover things quickly and frequently, making it practically pain-free.


Location, location, location

We highly recommend you keep your talks on-site. It needs to be a place that’s easy to access (as the talks are so brief) and it should be fairly informal.

When we do our toolbox training sessions, we always try to rock up with a box of donuts. It keeps people happy and once they’re done with their coffee and donut, the talk is over and they can start their day.

You don’t even have to book a meeting room, just pull some chairs together or gather in the couches at the reception.

Toolbox talk template 4


Discuss future talks & encourage employee contributions

Make sure to check if there are any specific things your fellow employees would like covered in future talks.

The main goal of a toolbox talk is to make employees feel confident in their health and safety knowledge and ensure that they know what to do should a dangerous situation arise.


A toolbox talk template

When we do our toolbox talks here at Safety Training they, are often very similar in structure.


Here’s how we do it:

  • We start out by thanking people for coming and we tell them to help themselves to coffee, tea and donuts.
  • We briefly discuss the overall aim of the toolbox talk, e.g. it could be being able to manage a situation where a colleague that has lost consciousness, and potentially save a life.
  • We relate practice to the specific work environment, e.g. who’s calling the emergency number, where’s the first aid kit, who are certified first aiders, etc.
  • We encourage a discussion about how the team can help prevent and minimise risks.
  • We chat about what’s on the agenda for the next meeting.
  • And finally, we end it all with a quick Q&A.


Good luck.

You should now be able to plan and execute a quick but potentially life- saving toolbox talk for your team.

If you need some inspiration as to what to cover in your talks, check out our seven REHIS Elementary Health and Safety Course toolbox talks:

1. Introduction to H&S and Accidents and Ill Health
2. Introduction to Health and Safety Legislation and Risk Assessments.
3. Hazardous Substances and Personal Protective Equipment
4. Workplace Health Safety & Welfare, Vehicles At Work, Plant Machinery & Equipment
5. Fire Safety
6. Occupational Health, Manual Handling, Working at Heights
7. First Aid & Electricity At Work

If the sound of adding toolbox talks to your weekly routine has tickled your fancy, but you still aren’t quite sure how to execute it, give us a call!

Toolbox talk template 1

We can help you plan and run your toolbox talks to make sure your team is up to date with the latest and most important health and safety good practice.