Guidelines - What's a Safety Talk Safety Talk

Topic: Guidelines - What's a Safety Talk
Date Issued: September 10, 2011 Date Revised:

A safety talk is a hands-on way to remind workers that health and safety are important on the job.

Safety talks deal with specific problems on the job site. They do not replace formal training.

Through safety talks, you can tell workers about health and safety requirements for the tools, equipment, materials and procedures they use every day or for particular jobs.

Each safety talk will take about five minutes to present.

Why give a safety talk?

In delivering safety talks, your objective is to help workers RECOGNIZE and CONTROL hazards in the workplace.

Safety talks demonstrate the commitment of employers and workers to health and safety on the job.

You give safety talks because you are responsible for advising workers about any existing or possible danger to their health and safety.

You may be a supervisor, a health and safety representative, a member of the joint health and safety committee or anyone with health and safety duties.

What makes a safety talk work?

Choose talks that are relevant to the work being done. For example, the time to give a talk on temporary heating is before the cold season begins.

Deliver the talk where it will be most appropriate. That could be the job office, out on the site or near the tools and equipment you are talking about.

Introduce the subject clearly. Let workers know exactly what you are going to talk about and why it’s important to them.

Refer to the safety talk for information, but, wherever possible, use your own words.

Connect key points to things your crew is familiar with on the project.

Pinpoint hazards. Talk about what may happen. Use information from the safety talk to explain how to control or prevent these hazards.

Wherever possible, use real tools, equipment, material and job site situations to demonstrate key points.

Ask for questions. Answer to the best of your knowledge. Get more information where necessary.

Ask workers to demonstrate what they have learned.

Keep a record of each talk delivered. Include date, topic and names of attendees.


The information you present in a safety talk may be the very piece of information the workers remember when they start to work with a particular tool, piece of equipment, type of material or work procedure on the project.

When choosing and presenting your talk, do everything you can to help workers remember and act on the message you deliver.

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