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Tailgate Talks

Tailgate talks are short informational meetings held with employees to discuss a worksite related safety topic. The term comes from the practice of meeting around the tailgate of a pickup truck on site. The goal of holding tailgate talks is to inform employees of specific hazards and the safe way to do a job.

The following are designed as easy, one-page talking points that supervisors can print out and take with them to use on the job site.

Here are some tips for running a successful tailgate talk:

  • Keep them brief. 10 to 15 minutes is ideal.
  • Keep them specific. Address specific hazards or workplace practices that relate to the job.
  • Meetings should draw on employees' experiences and remind them of dangers of particular processes, tools or equipment.
  • Encourage questions.
  • Keep meetings informal and conduct them periodically as needed.
  • Keep a short record of what was discussed, the date, and who attended so you can avoid repetition and maximize the impact.
  • Walk the talk. Lead by example.
  • Keep it simple.