Construction Street

Written by
Steven Plummer
January 18, 2019

Hi, I’m Steven and I’m one of the co-founders here at Toolboxit. Toolboxit was designed to simplify and automate the current mundane manual process of carrying out a toolbox talk.

While I was at home in Ireland for the Christmas (if you’re one for stereotyping, you would be correct “a few” nights were spent in the pub) obviously my app was topic for one or two conversations with family and friends.

It occurred to me while being asked many questions over the holidays, that not everyone that may visit our site may know what a toolbox talk is.

Here’s how the conversation went between my two mates that don’t know what a toolbox talk is, and myself, sitting in the sitting room (Pub) by the fire (by the bar) with a cup of tea in hand (pint in hand). I’ve cut out the pleasantries and formalities and stuck to the main questions!

Joe: What actually is a toolbox talk?

Me: Without over complicating it (which I have a tendency to do) in the simplest of terms, a toolbox talk is a short, informal safety meeting which can be held at anytime, anywhere, with any group of people(team/workforce) on a single specific health and safety aspect/practice. (can you tell I have rehearsed this?)

Eamonn: What topics are covered in a toolbox talk?

Me: Any topic related to health and safety that will help your employees recognise potential hazards in the workplace

Joe: So you’re the ones that cause the headaches for workmen on site with these toolbox talks?

Me: No Joe (no hint of annoyance in my voice) we are far from that.

1. We are not here to enforce anybody to carry out a talk, that’s down to the site agents, contract/projects managers and safety officers.

2. We have developed an app that WHEN a toolbox talk is required, rather than carrying it out the manual way as its currently done, we have simplified and automated the process. Therefore, making it easier for the person giving the talk.

Eamonn: So who’s the person giving the talk, can anyone?

Me: Toolbox talks are typically led by a Contract/project manager, supervisor or black hats. Sometimes it’s the company’s safety specialist or company owner, just as long as they’re a competent person really.

Joe: You said it’s a manual process at the moment, does that mean it’s free?

Me: Yes, its free for anyone to do it the manual way!

Eamonn: So why on earth would anybody sign up to your app?

Me: That’s a fair point, well let me first explain the current manual process to you or even a typical scenario and help you understand the issues we are helping to solve.

Its Thursday morning 10am, contracts manager receives an email from the main contractor threatening him if he doesn’t have the weekly toolbox talk on his desk by 12pm today all guys are of site (common occurrence). He quickly has to find a talk on the internet or from his companies library, print it off, drive to site (bearing in mind Eamonn, we are not in little old Ireland now, it could take someone an hour or more just to get to site, dependant on traffic) gather men, carry out talk and collect signatures on a piece of paper. Now at this point he has 2 choices, either go back to the office, scan it back onto the computer and email it off to the main contractor but he won’t be back in time to do all this or he can leave it on the contractors desk which has the potential of getting lost/misplaced and he has no record this talk was ever done. Seems like a lot of hard work for such a simple but yet important task, right?

Same scenario using the app, email requesting a toolbox talk. I call my competent guy on site, ask him to gather the men and do a toolbox talk on which ever topic from the library he chooses within the app. He does it, collects signatures on the phone, emails it to the main contractor. He has a copy saved in his library, main contractor receives his copy by email in a PDF format, all from within the app and in the space of roughly 5 mins. The app has just saved the contracts manager a whole lot of hassle, a massive amount of time and it gives that company a professional edge, not carrying around scrappy bits of paper

Ok, let me give you an example. Let’s take music, I can go onto a very well known, free music platform, probably the biggest in the world, I can download any type of free music I want, convert it into a mp3 (I don’t condone this sort of behaviour by the way), I can then add that file onto a memory stick and play it in my car (very labour intensive) OR I can pay a small amount of money for a music streaming service straight to my phone and play it through my car speakers, it looks more professional, saves myself a whole heap of time and says a lot more about me.

Now you tell me lads, which would you pick?

Ok Steven ok, we’re sold!

Me: Sorry lads I’m passionate about the app and know it’s the way forward. Now drink up and let’s have some “craic” and “head on” to the next pub.

All: Sláinte (cheers)

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