Toolbox Talk - Dust and Fumes
This Toolbox Talk Guidance Note and Form is about Dust and Fumes on site or in your workshops/factories. Exposure to dust and fumes should be prevented where practicable. Breathing in dust and fumes can have both acute and chronic effects and can cause long-term health problems. This talk discusses how dust or fumes may occur in your workplace, whether from sanding, grinding or burning. It covers PPE for the users and anyone else in the area. This TBT should be read with No 18 and No 50.
This Toolbox Talk has been updated to include the new information released by the HSE on welding fume.
The concept of Toolbox Talks is that a short talk is delivered to the workforce approximately once a week, to remind them and update them on health and safety issues. Here are some guidelines on how the talk should be delivered:
Choice of Toolbox topic: choose a topic that is relevant to your audience; there is little point in talking about office safety to a group of ground workers. You could choose a talk related to an incident from the news; something that happened on site recently; new work processes; hazards, or in the absence of any particular circumstances, pick a talk from the list.
Location: The talk does not have to be given in an office; a mess-room or workshop area will suffice. It does, however, need to be somewhere quiet where you can hold a conversation easily.
Size of audience: Between 4 and 10 workers will be the most effective.
Duration: the duration should be limited to 10-15 minutes. Try not to become side-tracked on other issues; choose your topic and stick to it. If other issues are raised, consider them for the next talk.
Approach: Use a questioning approach, get the message across and listen to the responses. Toolbox talks are not lectures and are designed to get people to think and talk about Health, Safety and Environmental issues. Think of them as a refresher course, reminding the workforce of what they should already know.
- Try to generate interest in the topic with questions, such as “What are the hazards from the incident described?” or “What precautions should be taken in these circumstances?”
- Highlight some key words as a reminder to yourself
- Avoid just reading the notes on your topic.
Do not allow the group to get side-tracked, if it is important and relevant, allow a short discussion off topic then bring the discussion back to the main issue.
Signatures: obtain signatures from all attendees to keep on file. A signature list is attached to the Toolbox Talk document.
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