Toolbox Talk Templates

Perform paperless and more efficient toolbox talks before commencing work

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Published January 13th, 2021

What is a Toolbox Talk Template?

A toolbox talk template is a tool used by a team or group of workers during safety talks before commencing work. It can be used as a training guide and covers toolbox meeting topics. Conducting regular toolbox talk meetings reduces workplace incidents and increases workers' safety awareness.

This article briefly discusses the following: 

Why Perform Toolbox Talks Before Commencing Work

Toolbox talks can make a great difference when conducted before employees start to work on site. These simple meetings are a vital safety measure for preventing bigger and complex risks. Managers and safety officers should invest their time and efforts in using tools or apps to administer these safety meetings regularly. Aside from assuring proper safety orientation during pre-work, here are some benefits of performing toolbox talks:

  1. Boost worker knowledge on hazards and risks.
  2. Strengthens leaders’ and workers’ sense of responsibility.
  3. Improves team coordination and productivity.
  4. Establish a good communication system within teams.
  5. Documents and organizes safety meetings.
  6. Creates a secure working space and safety culture.

How to Create a Toolbox Talk

Even though toolbox talks are short and simple meetings to perform, there are certain points that the manager or safety officer must consider to ensure a more effective toolbox talk for the workers. Here are the seven steps on how to create and write a good toolbox talk:

#1 Determine a topic of focus

Choosing a topic for toolbox talks should be based on the type of work that employees are performing every day, of course. This highlights the relevance of the job and all the related matters that should be reminded to them every now and then. Also, create a list of these toolbox topics and organize them in a calendar so that workers can follow through with the next meetings. In addition, select topics that would help refresh their knowledge of safety and quality.

#2 Conduct research

How do you know if the content that you are using is up to date and reliable? Simply get your resources to the most reliable associations and government bodies that release relevant and timely updates about safety. Examples are OSHA toolbox topics, HSE website, and more health and safety sources. Gather the most important chunks during your research and associate them with the current work that your organization has. Remember not to provide too much information that would cause information overload. Things like importance and best practices are already enough for these toolbox meetings. In addition, performing a survey to workers can also provide more insights into what they want to learn during these short meetings.

#3 Use online tools to prepare and discuss the toolbox topics

Paper-based toolbox talks can be time-consuming and cumbersome. Using digital tools and applications can help ease the preparation and actual demonstration of the toolbox topics. Doing so may also help standardize how toolbox talks are formatted. During the discussion, the toolbox talks can be sent individually so that all workers have their own copy as a guide, meaning it can be distributed to all affected and involved individuals. Remember to keep the toolbox talks short but meaty.

#4 Evaluate learnings and get feedback

Assessing the workers’ learnings can be in the form of questions or simple teach-back after the meeting. With this, leaders can gauge how deep do the workers understand the toolbox topics. Conduct a post-meeting survey to learn what the employees say about toolbox meetings. And then, from all of these insights leaders can now further improve how they can make the content simpler, clearer, and easier to digest. 

#5 Keep the records of all toolbox meetings

All toolbox talk meetings must be kept in a safe place as these records serve as proof for complying with legal requirements that regulate the maintenance of health and safety training, information, and initiatives. These can be potential documents that can be used for accreditations. 

Toolbox Talk Example

There are a variety of toolbox talk examples that can be discussed to workers. Learn more about these examples here. Here is a basic example of a toolbox talk specifically for people working in confined spaces

Topic: Working in Confined Spaces

Site: Pandemonium Works, Hawkins City, Indiana

Involved Team: Harvey Scratch, Roz Spellman, Nick Morningstar, Cerberus Kinkle

Supervisor: Archie Micks

Conducted on: September 7, 2020

What is a Confined Space?

A confined space can be any area that is sufficiently large to enter and perform jobs. It is has a limited entrance and egress points and not built for any type of occupancy. 

What might happen if working in confined spaces was not performed properly?

  1. Oxygen deficiency or asphyxiation due to the harmful environment inside the confined spaces.
  2. Exposure to deadly gases and other organisms.
  3. Loss of coordination.
  4. Heatstroke
  5. Death

Safety reminders when working in confined spaces:

  1. Identify all hazards present before entering the confined space.
  2. Conduct atmosphere tests.
  3. Install proper ventilation systems.
  4. Fortify communication amongst co-workers.
  5. Ensure that personal protective equipment is in good condition.

Signatures: (assuming all people involved have confirmed and signed)

iAuditor as a Toolbox Talk App

iAuditor is the world’s #1 inspection app. Streamline and automate your toolbox talks with paperless documentation using your smartphone or tablet. Take advantage of iAuditor by utilizing the following features below:

  • Look up reference information
    Use iAuditor as a visual aid or training guide by adding relevant information while inspecting. You can look up references in plain text, image, or external link format.
  • Easily document toolbox meetings
    Record the takeaways, concerns, corrective actions, and recommendations from your toolbox talk meeting using iAuditor. Records are automatically saved in the cloud.
  • Take or Attach Photos
    Take pictures, annotate, and attach them to your template for a more comprehensive report.
  • Capture digital signatures
    Sign off your toolbox talk documentation by capturing digital signatures. These include time and date stamps to provide accountability and confirmation on the information recorded.

To help you get started we have compiled 15 of the best toolbox talk templates you can download and customize for free.


Carlo Sheen Escano

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.