Height Safety Topics


Height Safety Topics

Posted May 27, 2011 | View all news

Ladder Safety Topics A Must For Tool Box Talks

With the onus for the health and safety of people at work now squarely on those in control of the workplace, employers and principal contractors are always looking for ways to get the safety message to the front-line workers. This is often a logistically difficult task for both small and large organizations. Training is usually done in staggered sessions so that all staff aren’t away from key areas at once. With customer service often the only point of difference between competing businesses, closing a business for any length of time to train everyone together is impractical.

One of the most important methods of providing training in the workplace, especially in trade areas such as manufacturing, construction, mining and engineering, is the toolbox talk. There are hundreds of topics that lend themselves to a toolbox talk and ladder safety topics are high on the list. Ladder safety accessories, anchoring a ladder, and checking the stability of the surface are just a few suggestions.

Some people think that ladder safety topics cannot provide enough material for a toolbox talk. This is not true, as there are a number of aspects to ladder safety that should be addressed. A fallacy that has frustrated safety practitioners for decades is the assumption that everyone has enough common sense to know how to perform tasks safely. Unfortunately, safety statistics don’t support this argument at all.

The premise fails because what is common sense to one person may not be to another. For this reason, every safety training session must start with the basics. A skilled trainer can quickly establish a level of knowledge in the session, and adjust the training material accordingly, but must always be prepared to deliver information to the lowest common denominator.

The tool box talk is an ideal vehicle because it is short, no longer than fifteen minutes, is delivered without frills i.e. no audio-visual equipment or comfortable training rooms, just basic hand-outs, the skills of the trainer and often a practical demonstration. The material is practical, and the subject matter, ladder safety topics for example, of immediate interest. It is usually delivered where the people are working, so there is little downtime and no travelling costs.

The trainer still designs a session plan which can be used repeatedly, and participants sign attendance records. Even quick testing on safety ladders can be done to ensure the message has been understood. The added benefit to this preparation is the evidence that the employer has fully addressed ladder safety topics at that workplace.

Toolbox talks are often overlooked as a training delivery method, but they are one of the most effective if done correctly. Health and safety at work is too important for training to be dismissed because it is thought to be too difficult to organise.

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