International Door & Operator Industry

SEP-OCT 2013

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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Page 36 of 110

tEChNical by Gary Lombard Conducting Effective Toolbox Talks are an important part of a door company's ongoing safety activities, but they should not be confused with actual safety training. All employees should be thoroughly trained on company safety policies before ever setting foot on a job site. Toolbox Talks serve as regular reminders of the importance of safety and are meant to continually reinforce your company's commitment to the safety of each employee. What constitutes an effective Tool Box Talk? Here are some ideas: Start by explaining the goal of your talk Open the discussion by telling the crew exactly what you want them to know when you are done. For example: Today we're going to talk about ft-testing of respirators. At the end of this crew talk, I want you to understand how it's done so you can do it on your own. Don't say: Today we're going to talk about respirators because that's too vague. Use a prop to demonstrate If you say something numerous times, people will remember it a little bit. But, if you actually physically show them what to do, and then have them do it for you, it really sticks. Use plain language and keep a narrow focus Know your audience and tailor your language appropriately, especially when your crew includes people learning English as a new language. Avoid using technical terms; instead, use the language of the workplace. Don't overload people by covering broad details of the history and background of your topic. 34 International Door & Operator Industryâ„¢ Limit your talk to 5 to 7 minutes You may wish to gather your crew together for up to 15 minutes, but make sure you aren't talking for the entire time. Give people enough time to ask questions and show they understand. Confrm that your message has been received As a supervisor, you are responsible for ensuring that your crew understands the information you conveyed. The best way to do this is by asking them to do a hands-on demonstration of what you just showed them. For example, if you're doing a respirator ft check, you might ask someone to demonstrate a ft check from the start. This gives you a chance to offer assistance if necessary. Keep a record of attendance Some companies make a form for recording the date, time, and topic discussed. Have people print their names so it's legible, and include details on the topic. "Discussed fall protection" or "discussed safety "is too vague. Recording specifc details will ensure the documentation makes sense to you, and others, in the future. Close your talk on a positive note Remind the crew why the topic is important and thank them for listening. Keep an open door policy and make sure everyone knows who to talk to if they have questions later. As a beneft of being an IDA member, the association developed a series of Toolbox Talks designed specifcally for door dealers. These topics enable dealers to schedule them on a weekly basis, and allow for alternative topics in order to ensure relevance of each weekly talk. The IDA Toolbox Talks represent a mix of generic topics that are customized to the needs of door dealers, and other topics that are exclusive to door dealers. Continued on page 36

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