A pre-job brief may have many names–tool box meeting, work brief, etc. Whatever it is called on your site, the meeting is an important part of workplace safety. Typically, a pre-job brief addresses several elements, including daily safety topics applicable to all (like heat stress prevention), administrative information, notable activities going on around the project (maybe adjacent to the one you are working), wrapping with the specific work activity brief for the team.
The pre-job brief normally covers the work activity for the day in a step-by-step manner. The discussion will address which work is to be performed and how, it will speak to potential hazards and how these hazards are to be avoided. When the specific activity brief is complete, the workers know general and potential safety issues, specific safety issues, hazard avoidance for the work activity, and what activities adjacent to the worksite may affect them.
The pre-job brief is not a passive discussion or listening exercise; the opportunity is maximized when the entire team actively participates. It is essential that the work team be “on board” with the plan. In an effective pre-job briefing, the supervisor will call on the workers and ask them to demonstrate understanding of specific job steps and tools that will be used, and of hazards associated with the tools. Supervisors should also discuss ways that hazards are controlled in the work plan.
Questions about the work are not only welcome but are encouraged and expected. A healthy discussion and clear understanding of the work helps to bring all of our workers back home just as they left– safe and healthy.
The pre-job is the start of the work day, but by no means the last part of our safety program.