Construction work is often dangerous, which is why it’s important to have safety meetings—also known as construction toolbox talks—before work begins each day. However, to make the most out of these meetings, it’s important to cover important topics that will help keep your employees safe.
This article will share six different safety topics that can be talked about during construction meetings. Each of these topics can help reduce the risk of employees being injured on the job or help them be aware of potential hazards they may encounter.
Keep in mind that these are just a few examples, and your specific workplace may have other hazards that need to be addressed. Make sure to talk with your supervisor about any potential hazards and devise a plan to address them safely!
Topic #1: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
When it comes to construction, nothing helps protect employees more than Personal Protective Equipment or PPE. Therefore, it’s important that workers understand what types of PPE they need to wear for each task they perform and that they know how to properly put it on, take it off, and care for it.
Employers are required to provide workers with the PPE they need to do their job safely, so if you have any questions about what you should be wearing or how to use it, be sure to ask your supervisor or manager. PPE-related subtopics would include the following:
- “When PPE is necessary.”
- “The different types of PPE that are important for specific situations.”
- “How to properly wear and remove PPE.”
- “The limitation of PPE.”
- “Proper maintenance, care, and disposal direction for PPE.”
Topic #2: Fall Protection
It’s rare for construction jobs not to include working at heights, which is why fall protection is one of the important safety topics for construction. Workers need to be aware of the hazards associated with working at heights and know how to safely work in these situations.
Slips, trips, and falls are all hazards associated with working at heights. That’s why it’s important to use the right fall protection equipment, wear proper PPE, and follow all safety protocols. In addition, make sure you discuss the following topics with your employees to help reduce or eliminate fall-related accidents:
- “A general overview of fall protection.”
- “Common fall hazards and hazard recognition.”
- “Training on how to proceed around fall hazards.”
- “The different forms of active and passive fall protection.”
- “Onsite fall safety requirements for different worksite settings.”
- “How to use appropriate equipment when working at heights.”
- “What to do when a fall accident occurs.”
Topic #3: Hazard Identification
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) defines a hazard as “a present condition or situation that could cause injury, harm, or death to workers.” To identify potential hazards in the workplace, it’s important to know what to look for. However, from OSHA’s definition, a hazard qualifies as anything that can potentially hurt someone in your workplace.
Safety is a team effort, so identifying hazards should be an important and notable topic in one of your safety meetings. Introduce employees to hazard recognition and emphasize the importance of being proactive in keeping an eye out for potential dangers. Some subtopics you might want to cover include:
- “How to identify potential hazards in the workplace.”
- “How to properly report a hazard.”
- “The importance of being proactive in identifying potential hazards.”
- “How to communicate with the team about a hazard.”
- “Hazard risk assessment.”
- “Putting controls in places to eliminate or reduce hazards.”
Topic #4: Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO)
The construction industry utilizes heavy equipment and machinery daily, which is why it’s so important to properly Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) any equipment that could cause harm. LOTO is a safety procedure that prevents injuries by ensuring that machines are properly turned off and disconnected from their power sources before any maintenance or repairs are conducted.
We made a dedicated article detailing LOTO and how to write a LOTO procedure checklist for your construction site. You can check it out here.
Employees need to understand how LOTO works and why it’s so important. Here’s an example of steps that represent a typical lock out/tag out process:
- Notify employees affected or involved in the lock out/tag out procedures.
- Shut down equipment according to written guidelines.
- Isolate the energy source.
- Attach the appropriate lock out device.
- Release any energy stored in the machine.
- Verify the lock out with the right personnel.
Topic #5: Hand and Power Tools
Heavy equipment isn’t the only type of machinery used on construction sites – hand and power tools are also widely used. While these tools might seem harmless, they can be dangerous if not used properly. That’s why employees need to receive the proper training on using these tools safely.
Some subtopics you might want to cover in a safety meeting about hand and power tools include:
- “The different types of hand and power tools that are commonly used on construction sites.”
- “How to keep all tools in good condition through regular maintenance and proper storage.”
- “How to select the right tools for each construction task or job.”
- “How to examine tools for any damage or other warning signs of wear and tear.”
- “Correct operating procedures for each tool.”
- “When and how to properly use the right PPE for relevant tools.”
- “How to spot environmental issues that can potentially impact safety (e.g., wet conditions for electrical equipment).”
Topic #6: First Aid
Finally, construction workers should also know how to provide first aid in the event of an accident or injury. Many construction sites are located in remote areas, which means that emergency medical services might not be readily available. That’s why employees need to know how to administer first aid and have the necessary supplies on hand.
In addition, OSHA requires construction companies to have properly-trained personnel for onsite first aid. It’s also a great idea to remind workers about the first aid basis. Subtopics that should be discussed when it comes to first aid should include the following:
- “The location of any first aid kits onsite and what these kits contain.”
- “Other safety supplies that are found onsite (e.g., automatic external defibrillator).”
- “Basic employee training on first aid.”
- “A review of your construction company’s emergency action plan.”
Why DATAMYTE is Perfect for Construction Safety
Incorporating construction safety procedures to avoid hazards is critical to protecting your workers and your company’s bottom line. DATAMYTE is a quality management platform that ensures workplace safety and provides the data-driven insights needed to improve your company’s overall quality and efficiency.
The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is the main tool in DATAMYTE’s arsenal capable of helping you implement construction safety procedures. With this tool, you can quickly and easily create construction safety workflows, collect data on safety hazards, track corrective actions, generate accurate reports, and more.
DATAMYTE has the right tool for you and your construction safety needs. If you want to learn more about the DataMyte Digital Clipboard and all of its capabilities, schedule a demo today!
Safety is essential in construction. Reviewing safety talks and discussing relevant topics on a regular basis can help construction workers become more aware of potential hazards and be safer on the work site. Use this article as a reference the next time you’re looking for safety topics for your construction safety meeting. And, don’t forget to check out DATAMYTE for all your construction safety needs!