Toolbox safety meetings have become common on construction sites, with employees huddled around the gang box on Monday mornings. At these meetings, they are often given a handout on a topic that will be discussed and review the work that will be performed for the week. Unfortunately, many of these meetings fall short of their intended goal—especially when employees tune out and miss critical information.
Toolbox safety meetings play an important role in building a culture of safety in the company and on the job. Safety is an important skill that must be learned, much like the other skills of the trade.
Below are some tips to keep employees engaged in your toolbox talks.
- Recognize safe work practices that have been observed to start the toolbox talk and set a positive atmosphere.
- Keep meetings short—I recommend 15 to 20 minutes. This will help employees retain valuable safety information.
- Present information relevant to the current work being performed.
- Stay passionate as a presenter, knowing you are working to prevent injuries and death. Your audience will connect with that energy.
- Be creative in different active-learning methods to improve memory, comprehension, interest, engagement, and application of knowledge.
- Involve employees in the meeting and consider hands-on training, such as how to properly use PPE or perform a safety task. Visual demonstrations of tools or equipment can bring greater understanding.
- Engage the audience by asking about their related experience. Ask open-ended questions, such as “How would you solve this problem?” or “What questions do you have about this?” Avoid questions that can be answered with yes or no.
- Give examples of real job-site stories related to the work being performed. This can be a great reality check and bring the point home.
- Include a variety of case studies and statistics when possible to reaffirm the importance of these meetings.
- Stay on schedule and move through the presentation at a steady pace to get through the planned material.
- Conclude the meeting by summarizing key points, stating the goal, and giving positive encouragement.
For additional safety orientation tips, visit www.osha.gov.
Increasingly, businesses use unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for inspection, wedding videography, photography, project monitoring and more. And as the number of commercial drones continues to grow, so do the potential risks. Not only can an accident or equipment failure cause damages, but companies that use drones may need insurance to get a permit or work with a client.
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From the days of buckboard wagons to the modern trucks operating today, the trucking industry has continued to play a vital role in our nation’s economy. However, the job can be stressful and wear on drivers over time. There is a perceived toughness of drivers in the trucking industry, and seasoned veterans know you need to have thick skin to do the job, but there is another side to life on the road. Due to the nature of trucking, studies show that drivers face increased challenges, such as loneliness (27.9%), depression (26.9%), chronic sleep disturbances (20.6%), anxiety (14.5%), and other emotional problems (13%). March 12, 2020 | Trucker
With approximately 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the United States, according to estimates by the American Trucking Association, truck drivers must understand they are not alone in their struggles. Many people, from children to adults, struggle with mental health needs, and as our society increases its awareness of these needs, the availability of support resources improves.
Listed below are four common issues truck drivers face that can affect mental health.
- Stress. Truck driving is often stressful. Heavy stop-and-go traffic, weather changes, unexpected delays, mechanical problems, and miscommunication are just some of the issues that can affect stress levels.
- Isolation. For many drivers, being away from family is one of the most difficult aspects of the job. Spending long hours alone can contribute to feelings of isolation. Drivers may also feel guilt when they are not able to be there for their family. I have seen the internal battle drivers face balancing their need to make a living with their desire for quality home time.
- Diet. Drivers often have limited access to healthy food choices. According to the Mayo Clinic, several studies have found that those with poor diets were more likely to report symptoms of depression. The good news is that people who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish were less likely to report depression.
- Sleep. Lack of proper sleep is a significant risk factor in reduced mental health.
We all need to take mental health seriously. If you, a friend, or family member is affected, they need to know they are not alone in their struggles. If any symptoms of depression are occurring, it is time to seek professional help. Free helplines are available, and people call them for a variety of reasons. Most reach out when they are feeling overwhelmed, in crisis, or at risk of doing something they would later regret.