Safety Corner: Weekly Toolbox Talks Take Safety Beyond Job Sites
Safety Corner: Weekly Toolbox Talks Take Safety Beyond Job Sites
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Safety Corner: Weekly Toolbox Talks Take Safety Beyond Job Sites
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Process & Industrial Group leaders have begun conducting weekly "safety toolbox talks" in the office with the entire staff.

Visit any large construction site early in the morning, and you will often find a group huddled together, discussing the safety risks that might arise on the job that day.

These short talks are common in the field. But the leaders in the Burns & McDonnell Houston office wondered: Why do the lessons learned stop there?

So they did something new. They began conducting weekly "safety toolbox talks" in the office with the entire staff.

The concept is simple. At 8 a.m. each Wednesday morning, all work stops, and the entire group — including any clients who happen to be visiting — congregates in a common area for a 10-minute talk on a safety issue.

Bob Reymond, senior vice president of the Burns & McDonnell Process & Industrial (P&I) Group, was in Houston the morning of one such talk. "I realized I was looking at a best practice that we should be doing across our entire P&I business."

Dustin Gill, safety advocate for the P&I Group in the Burns & McDonnell Kansas City office, adds: "We are expected to understand safety standards for design. These talks are designed to make us better safety leaders in construction. We can be the ones who make a difference."

Today, more than 550 Burns & McDonnell P&I project team members nationwide take part in weekly Safety Toolbox Talks, using topics and resources suggested by Gill and others. Broken into groups of 40 to 50 people, the 10-minute, once-a-week sessions are customized to individual department needs.

"Everything we do in our business starts and ends with safety," Reymond explains. "I love that our Houston office came up with an idea that significantly raises the awareness of our office staff and focuses our attention on safety. These weekly talks will make our people safety leaders not only in the field, but in their personal lives as well."

For more information, contact Dustin Gill, 816-822-3509.

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