Safety Toolbox Talks for Confined Space & Lifting

Last updated on June 23rd, 2019 at 04:55 pm

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What is a toolbox talk?

Toolbox talks are a way to ensure all workers are participating in safety activities, and have an opportunity to discuss hazards/controls, incidents, and accidents.

As part of the Health and Safety at Work Act, employers must provide employees the opportunity to regularly engage in health and safety discussions.

Who can give them?

Anyone can conduct the discussion. It is best if led by a person with experience in the topic.

How often should they be done?

OFS supports the idea of a 5-minute safety talk each day before work begins.

Why do them?

In addition to reminding workers of work safety, they reinforce the idea that all are responsible for the whole crew.

Confined Spaces

  • A confined space has limited means for entry/exit and can include a space that has an open top
  • The atmosphere inside a confined space can be very different from the outside atmosphere
  • Deadly gases may be trapped inside the space
  • Space may lack enough oxygen to support life
  • Space may trap excess oxygen to promote an explosion if an ignition source is introduced
  • Never trust your senses to determine if space is safe
  • Always check with your supervisor before entering any space
  • Never enter a confined space to help a downed worker


  • STOP and THINK before picking anything up – assess the object and its weight
  • Use proper form when lifting and carrying – wide stance, bend at knees, tighten abs, head high, chin in
  • Lift your load using a solid two-handed grip
  • Make sure your path is clear before you proceed
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Keep the weight close to your body
  • Pivot with your feet, don’t twist your body
  • Do not reach more than 10 inches from your body to lift or place an object
  • If you can push or pull instead of lifting
  • Use your shoulder to support objects when carrying them long distances
  • Use teamwork when the load is too heavy

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