Good communication of health and safety information is essential for everyone.
Employers have a legal duty to consult with their workforce. To be effective it needs to be two way (both sides listening, as well as talking).
This can be done in a variety of ways.
- Site inductions.
- Safety briefings.
- Toolbox talks.
- Informal chats and open door policies.
- Worker involvement schemes.
- Suggestion boxes.
- Health and safety law poster or pocket card.
You must attend a site induction for each new site that you visit. As a minimum you should be told about the following.
- The site rules.
- The site hazards (for example, overhead power lines).
- Traffic management systems.
- Areas of the site where you can and cannot go.
- Welfare facilities.
- Emergency and first-aid arrangements.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Permits to work.
- Environmental considerations and any protective requirements. How you will be consulted regarding health and safety matters.
These are short health and safety briefing sessions that may be on a particular subject connected to the work being carried out or that communicate other important safety information and advice.
The person delivering the toolbox talk should give you the opportunity to ask questions or raise concerns.
The aim of a toolbox talk is to give and share information to keep you safe and protect your health.
Workers are often the best people to understand the risks in their workplace. Talking to, listening and co-operating with each other can help in the following ways.
- Identify joint solutions to problems.
- Raise standards.
- Reduce accidents and ill health.
- Help people to work safely and in safety.
You may be asked to take part in site inspections or audits and discuss your usual work methods. This will help your employer understand any problems you are experiencing and help them to propose solutions.
Many sites run suggestion schemes, have regular safety forums or meetings and have open door policies.
Please get involved – your views are important and can make a difference.