Toolbox talks are a great way to provide health and safety information to your team and comply with legal requirements.
How often then, should a toolbox talk be undertaken?
Well, firstly, there is no specific legal guidance on this. There are no rules that say you have to undertake toolbox talks, daily, weekly or on the first day of each month.
It is down to you to decide when to carry out your toolbox talks.
Various regulations do require the provision of information to employees, however, such as the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.
Information for employees
10.(1) Every employer shall provide his employees with comprehensible and relevant information on — (a)the risks to their health and safety identified by the assessment, (b)the preventive and protective measures…
13. (2) Every employer shall ensure that his employees are provided with adequate health and safety training.
-The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
The information you provide should be both relevant, and of course, provided at the right time.
It is not so much use telling your employees about a hazard or risk they are exposed to after the fact.
Toolbox talks are not the only way to provide this information, there are many other requirements such as inductions, risk assessments etc that are strictly required by law and can be used to communicate this information.
Full training courses should also be provided as necessary.
But toolbox talks are a great way to keep your workforce refreshed and provide information that is both relevant and timely.
Regular toolbox talks, daily, or on a weekly schedule, will allow you to pick a topic relevant to the work that is taking place at that specific time.
If training courses were carried out months ago, this is a great way to refresh knowledge.
If the topic has never been covered before, this is a great way to provide information.
How often you carry out toolbox talks will depend on the risks and type of work you are undertaking, but it is good to get in a routine. This will allow you to cover a variety of topics at the time the information is most relevant and therefore valuable to your work.
The more often you carry out toolbox talks, the more beneficial they become, and we have written a post on the 9 reasons to have daily toolbox talks here.