Tool Box Meetings
A tool box meeting or tool box conference is a brief monthly, quarterly or annual meeting usually (although not always) in which the members of a group are asked to share safety matters. The box meeting is often used by managers who have a difficult time making safety decisions. The box meeting usually occurs after hours, when everyone but the management staff are asleep. The purpose of this type of meeting is to quickly identify and clarify safety concerns or problems and then get immediate feedback on them so that improvements can be made.
In these meetings the topics discussed typically include construction and industrial health and safety regulations. They also cover such matters as occupational health and safety policies, training methods, hazard analysis and communication. During the meetings people will talk about their experiences and give advice on ways to improve safety at work. They may suggest training classes for others, set up training programs, or issue reports that will be used to track progress.
Most tool box meetings are attended by two to four people. These meetings are usually held on a specific date and at a specific time so that everyone attending has a chance to get the information they need. Management can use the tool box meetings to get employees to be more involved in safety issues and to make them feel like an important part of the team. It is also a way for upper management to get employees to be more aware of safety issues and how to handle them.
There are several different types of tool box meetings. Most involve some form of discussion. The most formal is the traditional tool box meeting where everyone meets in the main office and discusses safety issues that are related to their jobs. These meetings also call for input from lower level employees. Companywide tool box meetings are usually informal affairs held off-site when needed.
Effective tool box meetings will include a brief discussion about the day's activity. This should address areas that need improvement with the company's safety procedures. A good meeting will review the procedures for daily operations as well as steps that must be taken to protect employees from risks. Management should note that this discussion should be open and honest.
In addition to regular meetings, some organizations choose to have weekly or monthly training sessions for their employees. These talks are designed to help people learn new skills and develop better safety habits. Some talks may focus on creating better leadership skills. Others may talk about how to handle the response to safety incidents. The goal of any tool box meeting is to provide employees with the information and tools they need to effectively work together to prevent and solve any hazards.