Toolbox meeting: from definition to implementation

All the factors for a successful meeting at a glance.

Table of contents

What is a toolbox meeting?

A toolbox meeting is a brief moment when a specific safety concept is the focus of a team or department. During this meeting, supporting visual elements such as images, videos or graphics are often used, as well as concrete examples from one’s own company or industry. What distinguishes a toolbox meeting from conventional prevention meetings is the interactive approach: the examples and concepts used raise employee awareness and spark productive discussion. The goal is for each employee to leave the meeting with a new or renewed understanding of a specific safety aspect of their daily work.

What does a toolbox meeting look like?

The contents

In terms of content, relevance is paramount: the goal is to cover a topic that is closely related to the reality of participating employees. Therefore, for example having a team of forklift drivers attend a toolbox meeting on office ergonomics is not ideal. A meeting on lifting loads with a forklift in a high rack location is obviously much more engaging. Imagery, such as pictures of the workplace, makes the topic covered more tangible. After all, these situations are even more recognisable to employees than generic examples. A PowerPoint presentation can be used during the toolbox meeting, preferably ending with concrete tips and insights that employees can apply daily for a safer work environment.

How long does a toolbox meeting last?

A good toolbox meeting takes about fifteen minutes or a little longer.

The aim is to impart a lot of useful insights and tips in a short time: avoid the meeting going on too long about theory, and focus on conveying valuable information.

To make it easier to limit the length, it is advisable to address a maximum of one or two topics in a toolbox meeting.

Still want to tackle a more comprehensive topic? Then try to break this up into multiple toolbox meetings: that way you keep the attention of the attendees and the insights often “stick” better than in a longer meeting covering multiple topics.


Toolbox meetings are mandatory for SCC-certified companies. The frequency is determined by the SCC level:

  • SCC*: 4 times a year
  • SCC**: 10 times a year
  • VCA-P (petrochemistry): 10 times a year

In addition to these minimum requirements, it is recommended that regular toolbox meetings be held to keep the treatment of topics “fresh” and to link to previous meetings.

Keep it simple

An effective toolbox meeting is concise and to the point. Avoid overuse of technical terms and complicated examples. The content should be specific, focusing on key points.
Make sure the content is concrete; go through the meeting beforehand and look at it from the perspective of the participants. What are the essential points that should come out? Getting the emphasis right contributes significantly to the quality of the toolbox meeting.

Who is a toolbox meeting for?

The organiser

The organiser varies by company; it can be an internal or external prevention advisor, site manager or production manager. It is important that the organizer has a good understanding of the reality of the business.

The participants

All employees are required to participate in a number of toolbox meetings according to the SCC standard. Quality and specificity are crucial in compiling participant lists. A balanced approach with both quality and quantity is more effective than a limited number of general meetings.

Hazardous labor

Employees who regularly perform hazardous work tend to have more frequent toolbox meetings. Employees who come into less contact with hazardous work situations can also benefit from periodic education: for example, an administrative assistant would benefit greatly from still receiving basic insights about workplace hazards.

Formal or informal? Combine!

A toolbox meeting does not always have to take place in a formal meeting room. It can be just as effective in the workplace itself. A toolbox meeting does not necessarily have to involve a plethora of tools, PowerPoint and handouts. Finding a balance between formal and informal approaches can increase the impact.
For example, more abstract and complex topics can be discussed in the office and guided with a PowerPoint, while in the workplace, more concrete tips can be shared informally, such as, for example, about wearing seat belts or handling equipment correctly.
When an employee gets back into their forklift, crane, excavator, etc. after 5 minutes, they can immediately apply these practical tips to everyday reality.

What about subcontractors?

SCC-certified subcontractors are required to hold their own toolbox meetings. While it is not mandatory to hold toolbox meetings for subcontractors, it can be useful to ensure safe collaboration.

The formula for success

A good toolbox meeting…

When a toolbox meeting meets all of these criteria, it will undoubtedly have a positive impact on workplace safety within your company!

Looking for clarity?

Is it bad that a toolbox meeting takes longer? Should I keep track of who attended? What does a toolbox meeting cost? What if someone doesn't show up?

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We will be happy to inform you about the possibilities!