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Workplace Safety Tip: Holding Effective Tailgate/Toolbox Safety Meetings
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Every California employer is required to establish and maintain a safety program that includes employee training in safe work practices. For those in the tunneling and construction industries, safety training must meet higher standards, according to Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, Sections 8406 and 1509. Employers in these two industries must hold Tailgate or Toolbox meetings no less often than every 10 days, in order to inform and remind employees of workplace hazards or the potential for work-related accidents or illnesses.

Cal/OSHA suggests that for the best results, meetings should:

  • Take place at the beginning of a shift or after a break.
  • Be held in a location where workers can be comfortable.
  • Be short, 10 or 15 minutes long.
  • Allow and encourage employee participation.

A Tailgate/Toolbox meeting can focus on an actual problem specific to your industry, such as direct, prolonged exposure to the sun for construction workers, or any condition or situation that may cause an accident, injury, or illness, as long as the topic is relevant to the current task. Before the meeting, research the topic so you can provide useful safety tips and reminders. Allowing employee participation makes it possible to draw on the experience of workers, which may prove to be the best examples of common sense safety.

Additional Resources:

"Tips for Terrific Toolbox Talks," in the July 2005 issue of COCA (Requires subscription or trial)

Sample Tailgate/Toolbox meeting from Cal/OSHA

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