Manufacturing Safety Topics: The Best Ones for Toolbox Talks

December 3, 2022 By

There are a frightening number of manufacturing workplace hazards with the potential to cause incidents or injuries that are easily preventable, which is one of the reasons for companies to host regular “toolbox talks” or safety meetings to discuss manufacturing safety topics and tips.

If it’s worth saying, it’s worth repeating. Experts say that repetition is a key to making people remember important points, so going over important manufacturing workplace safety topics more than once will really help to reinforce the message.

Believe it or not, sometimes workers need to be reminded of even the most common-sense safety and awareness issues—like keeping hands away from sharp edges. When you’re working with a tool day in and day out, or doing the same repetitive task over and over again, it’s easy to get complacent and forget about basic manufacturing safety tips.

But, as a safety manager, what should you cover in terms of workplace safety tips and topics? What points can you talk to employees about, often over again and again, that will drive home important health and safety topics for work, yet keep employees engaged and informed?

Safety Training Topics for Manufacturing

Here are some topics to work into your manufacturing safety talks or toolbox talk rotation:

Equipment use, safety, and maintenance

  • How and why to keep machine guards in place
  • Machine operation and safety
  • Equipment training and certification
  • Inspections and routine maintenance
  • The importance of safe and efficient workspaces

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

    • Different types, purposes, and applications of PPE
    • How to wear and use PPE properly
    • Maintaining PPE, and when to repair or replace
    • Safe disposal of PPE

      Hazard communication

    • The dangers of chemical leaks or exposure
    • Proper labeling procedures
    • What to do in the event of a hazardous materials incident
    • Maintaining a library of material safety data sheets (MSDS)This six-minute video gives some great context with the history of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (or “Right-to-Know” act), explaining to workers the standard’s importance in a relatable, conversational way.

Fall protection

  • How to prevent one of the most common workplace injuries
  • Falls can happen from heights or ground level
  • Identifying potential fall risks and risk factors
  • Integrating fall protection

    Fire prevention and preparedness

  • Identifying potential fire hazards
  • Reducing fire risk
  • Fire extinguisher training
  • Escape routes, plans, and responsibilities
  • Reporting violations and hazards

    Hazardous waste management

  • Current hazardous waste regulations, and updates
  • Disposal protocol for hazardous waste
  • Best practices for handling hazardous waste
  • Storage, labeling and inspection

    Hand Safety Toolbox Talk Topics

    Cuts and lacerations are among the most common, as well as one of the most readily preventable types of workplace injury, and hands are a worker’s number one tool, so hand safety tips definitely deserve their own section.

    If you’re planning a hand safety toolbox talk, you can promote and encourage hand safety by discussing these hand safety tips in the workplace:

  • Choosing the right tool for the job
  • Hand safety awareness activities
  • Checking equipment before starting a job
  • Proper storage of sharp tools and objects
  • Safe use of tools or equipment with moving parts
  • Hand attire—when it’s best to remove jewelry or wear gloves
  • Staying alert and focused at work
  • Keep workspaces tidy and organized

    Making Safety Training Topics for Manufacturing Interesting

    Looking for some ideas for other ways to maximize the impact of a manufacturing safety meeting? Because these topics can often be boring or dry, it’s easy to lose employees’ interest—which means your important message is less likely to be received. To keep workers engaged, try incorporating videos, playing a game, breaking into teams for a project or experiment, and encouraging group discussions.

    As you can see, there is no shortage of topics available for you to cover, but not all of these subjects will apply for every type of manufacturing. Customize your list of manufacturing safety topics depending on the industry and the type of hazards your workers are likely to face.

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