Toolbox Talk: How To Look Safe

By Published On: April 6, 2023

Have you ever heard of “dressing for the part”? It is a saying that if you want to be successful, you need to dress like the successful people do. Think about when you interviewed for the job; you cleaned up, dressed nice, and presented yourself in a way that made someone else respect and want to hire you. We know the construction life isn’t the red carpet, but there is a certain way you can present yourself that will prevent you from injury and keep the safety guy off your back. 

Safe Job Site

Here are the 4 best practices to “Look Safe” on the job site.

1. Housekeeping

It is a known fact that random safety inspections happen when there is clear and present danger. Job sites that are a disorganized hot mess are more likely to be subject to an inspection than a clean site with barricades, hardhats, and nice equipment.

  • Keep the site organized
  • Use Barricades, Orange Fence, Caution Tape, Signs, etc
  • Install proper Guard Rails, Access Points, and Debris control
  • Set up Scaffolding and Ladders properly

2. Personal Protective Equipment

At a minimum wear your Hard Hat and Safety Glasses. Driving past a site that is full of hard hats tells other people this company has their act together. It is the most  simple and inexpensive thing on this list.

  • Hard Hats, Safety Glasses, Boots 
  • Dust Masks, Face Shields, and Gloves
  • Full Respirators, Bodysuit, Body Harness 

3. First Aid Kit and Fire Extinguisher 

These 2 pieces of hardware are extremely valuable.

  • Keep them in good condition
  • Know where they are
  • Know how to use them

4. Safety Binder / Action Plan / Posted Information 

Keep a hard copy binder of Toolbox Talks and any other safety information in your truck. Though you can rely on a web-based service, you might be in places with no or slow connections. 

  • Post the nearest Hospital address or Emergency Response contact
  • Have the Safety Data Sheets for chemicals you work with
  • Post Exit Routes or specific directions for Fire/Ambulance


Yes, this article is called “How to Look Safe” but this is not a “fake it till you make it” cheat sheet. On the contrary, this is the very basics of being safe at work. These are the steps to dressing the part. 

A football player cannot take to the field without pads and a helmet. A doctor cannot operate without gloves and proper training. A hotel cannot operate without cleaning standards. Your construction job is not the only one with rules, but they are there for a reason. Be a professional, be an adult, be safe.


For other Toolbox Talk related to this one, check out: Safety Glasses, Hard Hats, Housekeeping


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