Asbestos Toolbox Talk

Asbestos Toolbox Talk

Asbestos Toolbox Talk

Why have this talk? Asbestos Toolbox Talk. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and because of its excellent fire retarding and insulating properties it was widely used in the building industry in the 1980s.

Research has shown that breathing in asbestos fibres may cause lung disease and cancer and it is currently the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in the UK with several thousand people dying each year. The delay between asbestos exposure and disease can range between 10 and 50 years.

What will this talk cover? Where you might find asbestos and how to work around it.

Where might you find asbestos in a building?

  • Sprayed insulation coating on steelwork and concrete
  • Floor tiles and flooring materials
  • Asbestos cement as structural sheets, pipes and tanks
  • Ventilation systems
  • Old fire blankets
  • Lagging on boilers and pipework
  • Insulation boards on interior walls, doors or ceilings
  • Some ceiling tiles.
Notes for delivery
The use of asbestos is now banned but any building that was built before 2000 could have asbestos in it.

As long as the material is not disturbed, workers should not be alarmed. If existing asbestos materials are in good condition, they can be left where they are as long as their condition is regularly checked to ensure they do not become damaged.

Products where the asbestos is bound tightly (eg asbestos cement sheets or flooring tiles) are less hazardous than products such as pipe lagging which easily give off fibres, but all products need careful handling by trained workers.

Working with asbestos

  • Asbestos dust is fine and invisible to the naked eye.
  • Most work with asbestos must be undertaken by a licensed contractor.
  • Asbestos waste is hazardous and must be disposed of correctly by an authorised waste carrier.
  • Stringent precautions are required for any work with asbestos to avoid risks and contamination.
The only way to reliably check if asbestos is present is to have a sample of the material examined in a laboratory. All potential asbestos-containing materials must be treated with caution.

Questions for employees

  • How can you tell if a material contains asbestos?
  • What steps should you take if you think you have come across asbestos?
  • Where will you find details of known asbestos in the building that you work in?
  • Can you give some of examples of where in a building you might find asbestos?

Do you have any questions for me?

Contact us for further information.


Accident Investigation Toolbox Talk

Why have this talk? Understanding the root causes of accidents allows the organisation to make changes to control measures to prevent reoccurrence in the future.

What will this talk cover? Why accident investigation is important and how to support an investigation.

Accident Investigation Toolbox Talk

Accident Investigation Toolbox Talk

Immediately after an accident

If a serious accident or fatality has occurred you will need to shut down the site to prevent further injury and so that equipment/substances, etc can be investigated.

Explain the company policy on when this should happen or who makes the decision.

What should you do?

If you are involved in an accident investigation, whether internal or external, you should:

  • jot down your memories of where you were and what you were doing at the time of the accident while fresh, to refer to later
  • listen carefully to the questions and remain calm
  • state honestly what you saw, heard or did in the events leading up to, during and following the accident
  • try not to be influenced by what colleagues are saying
  • do not be afraid to say when you do not know the answer — guessing will not help anyone and will just delay any investigation
  • remember that the reason for the investigation is to learn about what happened to prevent the accident from happening again, it is not to assign blame.
Questions for employees
  1. Who should be informed in your organisation if an accident has just occurred?
  2. If you witnessed an accident, what sort of details should you note while you remember?

Do you have any questions for me?

Contact us for further information.


What are the COVID rules for those who are double vaccinated?


What are the COVID rules for those who are double-vaccinated?

Those who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate when coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus from Monday

The Government has confirmed that those who are fully vaccinated with the Covid jab will no longer need to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

This will go ahead from Monday, August 16, meaning anyone fully vaccinated will only need to quarantine if they test positive for Covid themselves. This also applies to those 18 and under, who will not need to legally self isolate from Monday if coming into close contact with someone with the virus.

In the confirmation of the change in rules, the Government said: “Getting two doses of a vaccine has tipped the odds in our favour and allowed us to safely reclaim our lost freedoms”.

What are the rules for those who are double-jabbed from Monday 16th August?

1. Quarantining with symptoms

Anyone who tests positive for the virus will still need to legally quarantine until their symptoms improve and after they have tested negative for Covid.

2. Taking PCR Tests

Everyone will still be advised to take PCR tests if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. This is to check they do not have the virus themselves, as the vaccination is not 100% effective.

This includes health care workers, if they test negative through a PCR test they can return to work and will still need to take lateral flow tests for 10 days.

3. Self-isolating after August 16

Anyone who was alerted to self-isolate before August 16 and their quarantine days ends after August 16 can leave isolation from Monday.

4. Second jab 14 days before August 16

The new rules only apply to those who have had their second vaccination within 14 days before August 16. Anyone who has had their second vaccine below 14 days before August 16 will still need to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive.

After 14 days after receiving the second vaccination, they can follow the new rules or not needing to self-isolate.

5. Advised to wear masks and be cautious

Everyone is still advised to wear masks in busy or enclosed areas, particularly to those who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive and those coming into close contact with someone who tested positive are encouraged to “limit contact with other people” as the Government explained.

6. NHS Track and Trace system

People will still be contacted by the NHS Track and Trace system if they have come in contact with someone who has tested positive but will instead be asked to take a PCR test, rather than to isolate.

7. NHS Covid app

The NHS Covid app will be able to prove if people have been double vaccinated or if they are under 18 years. Anyone who has not had two doses or a full vaccination course will still have to self-isolate. The self-isolation rules have helped maintain and control the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking about this Health Secretary, Sajid Javid said: “Asking the close contacts of people with COVID-19 to self-isolate has played a critical role in helping us get this virus under control, and millions of people across the UK have made enormous sacrifices by doing this, every single one of these sacrifices has helped us protect the NHS and save lives.”

Take care. Keep safe!

Contact Walker Health and Safety Services Limited for further information.

(Correct on day of posting)


Toolbox Talk – First Aid

Why have this talk? First aid is emergency aid. It aims to minimise injury and illness until qualified medical help arrives. It can save lives.

What will this talk cover? How first aid is provided by the organisation and what to do if someone falls ill or is injured.

Make sure everyone knows
  • Where the first aid kit is kept in the workplace, plus any mobile kits, eyewash stations, defibrillators, etc.
  • Who is an appointed first aider and where to find them. If on a construction site they should be easy to identify, eg certain hi-vis jacket or helmet.
  • The fact that first aiders may not dispense medication, including paracetamol or ibuprofen.
  • Procedures when working in a small group away from the main workplace or when using potentially dangerous tools or machinery, etc.
  • Know where to access phones and understand the procedure for calling the emergency services.
  • How first aid procedures have changed in view of the pandemic due to COVID.
What to do if someone is ill or injured
  • Make sure the area is safe before approaching the injured or ill person.
  • Remove any hazard from the vicinity of the casualty, if safe to do so.
  • Call for help, eg first aider.
  • Send someone to phone for an ambulance if necessary.
  • Do not move the casualty unless they are in immediate danger.
  • Remain with the casualty and give reassurance.
  • Make the casualty as comfortable as possible.
  • Do not give drinks or food to the casualty, moisten lips with water only if requested.
  • Do not allow the casualty to smoke.
Questions for employees
  • When are you or your team likely to need a first aid kit of your own?
  • Where is the nearest phone?
  • Who is a first aider?
  • Where is the first-aid kit/defibrillator/eye wash station?
  • What are the first things you should do on finding a casualty?
  • What should you do until a first aider or the emergency services arrive?
Do you have any questions for me?

Past blogs of interest

First Aid Cover During Reduced Staffing as a Result of Covid-19 (

What Should be in a First Aid Box | Health and safety blog (

Do you have first aid training? | Health and Safety Blog (

Contact us if you wish to discuss this topic.


Promoting fitness in the workplace

There are ways to promote fitness that will improve wellbeing, motivation and productivity rather than just irritating your employees.

Many of us spend our day mostly sitting at desks, working with computers, getting up occasionally for a cup of tea. With more than a year in and out of lockdown, fitness isn’t necessarily at the front of our minds.

But with 6.9 million working days a year lost to musculoskeletal disorders in the UK, it’s worth promoting the idea of health and fitness in the workplace.

What are the benefits of fit and healthy employees?

There are several important ways that promoting health and fitness in the workplace brings benefits to your business.

  1. It reduces absence. Workplace absence is predicted to cost the UK economy a staggering £26 billion by 2030. Fitter employees are much less likely to need time off due to sickness, as a healthy body is much better at fighting off illnesses, and recovers faster should they fall victim.
  2. It means better performance. Employees who exercise report more concentration, motivation and energy than those who remain sedentary. Statistics show that exercising can increase work output by as much as 21%.
  3. It brings teams together. A shared goal that doesn’t necessarily involve day-to-day working tasks is a great way to foster team cohesion. Whether it’s a weight loss programme, training for a sponsored 5K run or weekly yoga sessions together, you’ll find that people bond quickly over physical effort — and bonded teams are productive teams.
How to promote employee fitness

A good employee fitness and wellness programme in the workplace should be voluntary, non-intrusive and inclusive of people of all fitness levels and abilities. While you might be an avid climber or mountain biker, not everyone in the office will have the right equipment or head for heights!

Start off small. Encourage people to walk to work instead of driving, or even just to get off the bus a stop early. An employee fitness programme doesn’t have to mean everyone hits the gym on Monday morning. Try to avoid coming over as patronising — humour is a good approach.

Ideas that will increase employee fitness and productivity in the workplace include the following.

  • Standing desks: these might not seem especially active, and really they’re not, but standing occasionally rather than sitting all day encourages the use of different muscle groups and will help prevent musculoskeletal disorders. Simply moving a little more brings benefits.
  • App challenges: some wellness apps allow you to organise teams and issue challenges. Something like the total number of steps by a team in a month, for instance, with the winning team getting recognition and a small prize.
  • Charity activities: wherever you are, there are charities organising sponsored runs all the time. Get people signed up to something short like a 5K run — it’ll encourage exercise and camaraderie.
  • Be cautious due to COVID.
Make it an employee benefit

Rather than trying to put together an employee fitness programme yourself, you could always use an external company. Many places offer discounted corporate gym memberships, apps with step trackers, and great deals on healthy food. Providing an employee benefit like this will boost your reputation and enhance employee morale.

Start with this online challenge from the NHS – CLICK HERE

Contact Walker Health and Safety Services for further information.