tool box talks

Importance of toolbox talks – a common feature within effective site management techniques

A toolbox talk is a very short informal safety talk and all about sharing best practice. Normally delivered on-site (not in a training room) and on a specific subject matter. It is a focused and to the point presentation with a specific safety message. The overall objective is to raise awareness of a particular aspect of the work. Effective training should be delivered on a continual basis and is essential for the reduction of accident/incident rates and the occurrence of ill-health and environmental damage on projects. Attendance should be recorded to ensure the message is received and understood allowing for subject matter issues to be monitored thereafter.

To ensure effective toolbox talks, you will need to ensure that all workers participate and are engaged in the toolbox talk.  Knowing and understanding the material delivered is really important too, thus ensuring good delivery.

Key points to remember while delivering toolbox talks to the workforce:

1). Relate information directly towards field activities.

2). Ensure your message is clear and understood.

3). Provide questions and answers sessions at the end.

4). Encourage group interaction but keep them on track.

5). Take your time. Do not rush a toolbox talk.

6). Always identify who their immediate supervisors are and explain that all issues should go through their supervisors first and foremost before being taken to others.

Toolbox talks can be time consuming as just gathering the workforce round to listen someone before the start of day’s work can affect productivity. Hence the aim is to be informal and supervisors can get certain members of the workforce to gather around during their rounds. This also allows for tailored messages to different trade to be delivered.

For staff based in the site office, briefings can also be issued through Mosaic. The system will be automatically updated as soon as the attachment is opened. In relation to field based operatives, Mosaic allows briefings / toolbox talks prior to coming on site on their mobile devices via email. Once the briefing is delivered, attendance is recorded by scanning their Smart Card on a mobile device

In a recent HSE report entitled ‘The effectiveness of HSE’s regulatory approach: The construction example – 2016 (RR1082)’ a detailed omnibus survey was conducted amongst 5000 plus site workers, who  were asked a number of questions about their accident and ill health experiences. In order to probe a bit more on certain questions a booster survey of 500 construction workers was then undertaken in 2010. From a list of mechanisms around management and worker involvement suggested to respondents of which one or more might be present on site, response levels across the period were of the order of:

  1. Regular safety briefings / toolbox talks – 95%  
  2. A near miss reporting system – 86%  
  3. An employee H&S suggestion scheme – 51%  
  4. Workforce safety representatives – 49%
  5. non trades union, 8% TU  
  6. Safety committee – 33%  
  7. Incentive / reward scheme – 12%
access of fake CSCS cards
Unique smart cards and PDA’s or mobile phones can now record the toolbox talk event

The results above reflect how prevalent and important toolbox talks are to the safe running of construction sites in the modern era, with the vast majority of workers now expecting them to be undertaken to maintain high health and safety standards.

Mosaic has developed a sophisticated mobile feature that can capture daily briefings, toolbox talks, safety alerts and other site critical information and store it on-line. Both on-site members of the workforce and office staff can easily be catered for. Once the briefing is delivered, attendance is recorded by scanning their Smart Card on a mobile device which can then be viewed by management as a report at a later date.

Click here to read more about our toolbox talks product

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Key US construction study concludes that a health & safety culture really does affect the bottom line

Worker using a still saw with no PPE gloves, googles and dust mask
US Worker using a still saw with no PPE gloves, googles and dust mask

Construction contractors who take safety seriously and invest more in worker safety really do achieve better profitability than contractors who spend less on safety, according to the results of a recent US survey.

More than 250 contractors participated in the survey, which was conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics (in partnership with the Center for Construction Research and Training and United Rentals).

The study measured contractors on 33 leading indicators to determine their place on the spectrum of safety culture. Thirty-two percent of contractors scored on the high end of the spectrum, 35 percent scored in the moderate level and 33 percent scored on the low end.

The key finding were that contractors who scored higher on the safety culture spectrum reported greater business benefits from their safety investments than contractors who scored on the lower end of the spectrum.

  • Improved project quality: 88 percent (upper end) versus 56 percent (lower end)
  • Improved staff retention: 79 percent (upper end) versus 45 percent (lower end)
  • Increased project return on investment: 75 percent (upper end) versus 38 percent (lower end)
  • Greater ability to attract new staff: 67 percent (upper end) versus 27 percent (lower end)

competent personIn addition the researchers compared these results to those of a similar survey conducted in 2012 and found that more contractors are recognising the role of workers in increasing project safety. Jobsite worker involvement scored as the most widely recognised aspect of a world-class safety program: 85 percent, an increase of 19 percentage points from the 2012 survey. Involve your workers in the process of safety on site and they will deliver.

Mosaic Management Systems provides health and safety site management software that offers you an online and flexible solution to on boarding, competency management, access control, asset management, stock control, fatigue management and toolbox talks.

To find out more about the company please follow the link.

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The state of health and safety in global construction – an opportunity for improved PPE policies

According to an article in SHP by Nigel Crunden there has been a considerable increase in major construction projects within the emerging powerhouse economies of the world such as India and China and it is predicted that this will be where global growth emanates from to bring about recovery to the world economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that 70 per cent of global growth will come from emerging markets over the next decade, with construction playing a considerable part in driving this forward. However, this increase has also highlighted a lack of standardised health and safety policies to protect workers, particularly in the construction sector.

While implementing a global set of health and safety policies are clearly unrealistic, there is some potential in reaching a consensus around key aspects of health and safety in construction, such as PPE (Personal Protection Equipment). Throughout many emerging markets, although health and safety policies include guidelines on PPE, sometimes these are not strongly enforced.

Regardless of the health and safety policy of specific nations, it is vital for individual companies and contractors operating on the ground to drive best practice forward when it comes to site safety. In 2013 alone, India experienced over 11,000 falls from height, many of which could have been prevented through enforcing the constant use of structural protection and, in some cases, PPE.  Falling objects are a key hazard on any construction site and as well as ensuring protective headwear is worn, it is important to guard the feet through advocating the wearing of robust footwear with steel toecaps.

Visibility is crucial within any environment where ongoing construction is taking place, simply due to the high amount of personnel performing different tasks. Hi-vis clothing protects against the risks of not being seen by, for example, an oncoming vehicle. Drivers need to see hazards from further away in order for them to have enough time to react.

Introducing measures around the wearing of PPE certainly isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to completely standardising a formal, global approach to safety. However, it does help address basic health and safety requirements, which, if followed consistently throughout nations that don’t have stipulations within the law, should help in protecting workers to a greater extent than they are at present.

Mosaic Management Systems provide industry safety critical online software to aid on boarding of a workforce, competency checking and record briefings and toolbox talks. We also provide an asset tagging module that could ensure that when PPE is distributed to the workforce it is tracked. This coupled with our toolbox talk module means that the issuing and briefings around any PPE equipment can be recorded against individual records for management scrutiny.

For further information please contact us by clicking the link

Building Safety Group says Construction Workers Health Standards Concerning

Serious concerns have been raised over the health standards of construction workers after a series of independent inspections of construction sites found that dust masks were not being used correctly. The findings of the 10,000 visits made to sites throughout the country by the Building Safety Group (BSG – not for profit building consultancy) earlier in the year found that a significant number of workers had not fitted their masks correctly.

The BSG said that most of the breaches uncovered related to the way firms use “face fit” dust masks, which the group said was particularly concerning as these masks cut down on the risk of workers inhaling dangerous chemicals from the dust they are working with.

The substances can lead to fatal diseases such as silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma and lung cancer.

Overall, the inspections carried out by the BSG discovered that occupational health non-compliance concerns went up by 28% between the first and second quarters of 2016. Furthermore, there was a 43% increase in violations concerning the control of substances hazardous to health and a 13% rise in dust fume infringements.

The findings of the research has led Paul Kimpton, BSG Managing Director, to call for construction companies to review their health and safety protocol on a regular basis to make sure that they comply with the latest legislation.

Kimpton commented: “Everyone involved in construction has a responsibility in managing risks to health, and all parties must take ownership of their part of the process. Construction dust is not just a nuisance. It can seriously damage your health and cause life-changing lung diseases.”

The findings come at a time when the construction industry is taking big steps as a whole to cut down on the risks to health and safety.

Mosaic Management Systems provide industry safety critical online software to aid on boarding of a workforce, competency checking and to record briefings and toolbox talks. By communicating health and safety expectations effectively about site procedures and standards from the outset and thereafter followed up by briefings and toolbox talks will improve site management considerably. To contact us and find out more about the services we offer please click the link.

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