Fact Sheets & Toolbox Talks

The Workplace Safety Group within University Health and Safety provides a variety of outreach materials designed to help your location provide a safe and healthy work environment for your employees.

These materials include documents including Fact Sheets, Toolbox Talks, Haz. Comm. Topics, and Safety Alerts. While these materials may seem very similar, there are important differences in their purpose, design, and use.

  • “Fact sheets” are brief introductions to a specific safety topic or concept, such as respiratory protection. They are intended for use by University supervisors or managers and/or staff who may have some responsibility for safety in their areas. Thus, they tend to be detailed and explain the issue from the perspective of a supervisor or manager.

  • “Toolbox talks” (sometimes called tailgate talks, or similar) are brief, informal safety training sessions on a specific topic. They are often held in a very casual environment, such as the actual work environment, as opposed to a training room. The Toolbox Talk documents are guides, or outlines for conducting these training sessions. They are often written in a very brief, bullet list format, and include “knowledge checks” to verify that participants are understanding the material. Like all other types of safety training, Toolbox Talks must be documented, so the Toolbox Talk document includes a sign-in sheet which the department or location providing the training maintains in their training records.
  • “Haz. Comm. Topics” are exactly the same as Toolbox Talks, but they specifically address hazardous chemicals, harmful physical agents (noise, heat and radiation) and infectious agents (i.e. human blood, TB, etc.). OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (formerly known as the MN Employee Right to Know Act) requires most employees to receive training on the hazardous chemicals, harmful physical agents, and infectious agents to which they may be exposed on the job. This training must consist of general topics, such as how to read and understand chemical labels and Safety Data Sheets, but must also include hazard-specific information on topics such as Carbon Monoxide, Formaldehyde, etc. UHS has developed online training materials which cover these general topics, but since specific exposures will vary greatly from department to department, these Haz. Comm. Topic sheets are helpful in providing the hazard-specific portion of your training.
  • “Safety Alerts” are summaries of incidents and near misses that have occurred at the University. The purpose of these alerts is to publicize the incidents, and their causes, so that members of the University community can be alert and vigilant for predictable hazards.

Fact Sheets

Toolbox Talks

Haz Comm/
Right-to-Know

Safety Alerts

Aerial Lifts Aerial Lifts Corrosives Battery Maintenance
Ag Related Safety Safety Training Anhydrous Ammonia  Cold Stress  Changing and Disposal of Lamps
Anhydrous Ammonia Back to the Basics Heat Stress Electrical Near Miss
AWAIR Bird and Bat Droppings Lead Fluke Voltage Tester Recall Notice
Carbon Monoxide Boiler Safety Oxidizers H1N1 Virus
Grain Handling vs Confined Spaces Carbon Monoxide Compressed Gas Lifting Injuries
Heat Stress Chemical Storage and Chemical Compatibility Slips and Falls
Lab Animal Allergens and RPP Cold Stress Waste Lab Glass
Lockout Tagout Crystalline Silica 
Lyme Disease Doors
MERTKA Farm Field and Farmstead Equipment
Soil Pits Fire Prevention 
Tractor Safety General Ergonomics
Worker Protection Standard Grain Storage Structure Entry
Heat - Protect Yourself from the Sun
Heat Stress 
High Pressure Injection
Lab Animal Allergens and Respiratory Protection
Lyme Disease
Nail Guns
RTV Safety Code - Landcare
Silica
Slips, Trips, and Falls
Solvents and Flammables 
Stairways & Ladders Guide
Staying Healthy at 50+
Tetanus & Diphtheria 
Tractor Safety
Tree Felling Hazard
Winter Workplace Eye Protection
Zoonotic Disease