Personal Audits (Pre-Task Planning) – Tool Box Talks

When the word audit
is mentioned, people generally think of a negative experience, an Internal
Revenue Service (IRS) tax audit or of a confrontation. However, it is possible
for audits to be positive.


First, let’s
consider the definition of audit.


A systematic or methodical review; to examine with intent to verify.


Audits can apply to
your job. From a safety standpoint there is only one way to do a job – the safe
way. Safety needs to be the first consideration in everything we do. It is
possible that we may not always be doing this, so our continuing efforts to
review or think about our jobs are auditing.

Contrary to an IRS
audit which evaluates what we did not record, our job audit should evaluate
what we did record. If we take the time to at least mentally think out the
steps that we go through to perform a task, we can audit it to ensure we are


Auditing ourselves
Look at these things prior to completing a task:


  • PPE, do we have the correct eye
    protection? The correct gloves? Protective footwear?

  • Do we need any special PPE such as a
    chemical apron or a harness?

  • Is our PPE in good condition?

  • Do we have the correct tools and are
    they in good shape?

  • Do we know how to operate the tools or

  • Do we know how to accomplish the task

  • Do we know the harmful energy sources
    around the area and have we isolated them?

  • Do I have the training to do this job?

  • Who is working around me?

  • Would I want my family watch me do
    this task this way?


These are a just a
few of the questions we should ask. However, they include some of the most
important ones. Ensure you do a quick audit, prior to accomplishing a task. A
more thorough one should be done if we’re doing something for the first time or
for the first time in a long time.


Take the time to
ask yourself these questions, do not become complacent that the work is the
same as it was yesterday.

Accident & Incident Reporting – Tool Box Talks




  • Injury: an incident to the body that requires more then just first aid
  • First aid: an incident to the body that does not require seeking medical treatment off site
  • Incident: anything that results in mechanical or equipment theft or property damage
  • Near Miss: Anything that happens that did not have one of the outcomes listed above.


  • Your Supervisor
  • The Safety Department


  • As soon as possible.


  • Contact safety department prior to going for any medical attention (refer to hard hat sticker) other then life  
          threatening emergencies.
  • If your injury is a first aid or non-life threatening situation DO NOT go to the Emergency Room or Urgent Care,
         wait for direction from the Safety Department, or go to the nearest
    NON-EMERGENCY or Occupational
          Medical Center (referenced in the Project Safety Plan)


  • Be sure to give a copy of all paperwork you receive from the medical facility to the Safety Department.
  • If you are given restrictions from the physician you must be in constant communication with the Safety
          department so we can meet those restrictions and get you back to work as soon as possible, we will work with
          you through the entire process. (This is called a Return to Work program.)
  • You are responsible to meet your follow-up appointments


  • If you fail to report an injury/first aid/accident promptly, it will result in disciplinary action; which includes but 
           not limited to 1-5 days off without pay.


  • Sticker and Medical Info card should be placed on the inside of your hard hat for quick reference.
  • The purpose of the sticker is to provide you with the Safety Department cell phone numbers to report an
  • The Medical card is up to you whether you want to put the information on the card. This medical card is
          designed to help provide emergency medical teams with information about yourself if you should be unable
          to communicate due to an injury.

Winter Weather Driving – Tool Box Talks

It’s that time of the year again when driving can be treacherous. Many accidents could be avoided if drivers took time to learn and practice these tips for driving safely during snowy and icy conditions.

Perhaps the deadliest danger of all is “black ice.” Black ice is ice which forms on a roadway, usually due to snow melting and re-freezing. Since it is almost invisible, drivers fail to recognize black ice conditions and may drive at normal speeds-often resulting in very serious accidents. Always be alert to the possibility of black ice when temperatures are near or below freezing. Pavement that looks dry but appears darker in color and dull-looking should alert you to the presence of black ice.

Failing to allow yourself enough time to stop is a major cause of winter driving accidents. During slippery conditions stopping distances can triple. Driving at a slower speed, anticipating stops at traffic lights and intersections, and applying brakes sooner than normal will help ensure accident-free stops.

Acceleration, turning, and passing also present dangers during winter. Again, leave extra space between yourself and other vehicles so there’s room to maneuver in case something goes wrong. During a skid, steer cautiously in the direction you want the car to go. REMEMBER KEEP YOUR WINDOWS CLEAR.

The best advice for driving in bad winter weather is not to drive at all, if you can avoid it. Don’t go out until the snow plows and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. If you must drive in snowy conditions, make sure your car is prepared and that you know how to handle road conditions.

Safe Driving Tips For This Winter

  • Bridges and overpasses freeze first, so always slow down and avoid sudden changes in speed or direction.
  • To make antilock brakes work correctly, apply constant, firm pressure to the pedal. During an emergency stop, push the brake pedal all the way to the floor, if necessary, even in wet or icy conditions.
  • If you get stuck, do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way. Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car and wheels, to help get traction. Try rocking the vehicle by slowly shifting from forward to reverse, and back again. – In addition, if you are driving long distances under cold, snowy, and icy conditions, you should also carry supplies to keep you warm such as heavy woolen mittens, socks, a cap and blankets.
  • If you become stranded, do not leave your car unless you know exactly where you are, how far it is to possible help, and are certain you will improve your situation.
  • To attract attention, light two flares and place one at each end of the car a safe distance away. Hang a brightly colored cloth from your antenna.
  • If you are sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not blocked, run the engine and heater for about 10 minutes every hour or so depending upon the amount of gas in the tank.
  • Keep at least one window open slightly as heavy snow and ice can seal a car shut.

Rigging – Tool Box Talks

Rigging looks like an easy operation, one that doesn’t seem to require any skill or experience. But don’t be fooled. Many people who’ve thought that “anyone can do it” have lost fingers or hands, or suffered more serious injuries. We don’t want any one injured while rigging on this job. So, I’m going to point out some of the “do’s and don’ts.” Pay close attention.

PROTECT YOUR HANDS. If it isn’t possible to release the chain, sling, or choker, be sure your hand is clear of pinch points. In fact, keep your hand far enough away so that a frayed wire or splinter on the chain can’t catch your glove and jerk your hand into a pinch point.

WATCH OUT FOR ROCK AND ROLL. It’s almost impossible to position the hook over the load center. So, watch out for a swing or roll. Anticipate the direction of the swing or roll and work away from it. Never place yourself between material, equipment or other stationary objects and the load. Stay away from stacked material that may be knocked over by a swinging load.

STAY OUT FROM UNDER. Never get under a suspended load, and keep out from under the crane’s boom too. The chances are that nothing will break. But are you willing to bet life and limb that it won’t?

SET IT DOWN CAREFULLY. When it’s necessary to guide a load, use a tag line or hook. If you must walk with a load, keep it as close to the ground as possible. Beforehand, look over the spot where the load is to be landed. Remove unnecessary blocks or the objects that might fly up when struck by the load. When lowering, or setting a load, keep your feet and all other parts of your body out from under. Set the load down easily and slowly. Then, if it rolls on the blocking, it will shift slowly and you’ll be able to get away.

TEAMWORK IS THE SECRET OF SAFETY. Teamwork is important on any job to prevent injury to yourself or others. But on a rigging job, this goes double.


Any Critical lifts (Greater than 75% capacity) require the completion of a Critical Lift Rigging Plan that must be reviewed with crew prior to work commencing (Documentation of review is required)

When rigging is used the rigging work is done by a qualified rigger, synthetic slings are protected from: abrasive, sharp or acute edges, and configurations that could cause a reduction of the sling’s rated capacity, such as distortion or localized compression, and when synthetic slings are used, the synthetic sling manufacturer’s instructions, limitations, specifications and recommendations are followed.

The latch must close the throat opening and be designed to retain slings or other lifting devices/accessories in the hook when the rigging apparatus is slack.