(714) 838-2923



At one time or another most of us have asked ourselves, how can I provide good tailgate safety training for my team that doesn’t suck up a lot of time and money? While there is no substitute for the thorough, deeper training that comes with formal classes and workshops, there is an often overlooked answer that should never be underestimated. It is called Tailgate Safety Training, or sometimes, Toolbox Safety Training.

Hands-on BERT Training

So what is Tailgate Training?  Simply put Tailgate or Toolbox Safety Training is a short, informal safety training meeting delivered at the worksite, usually before employees begin their shift or workday. Originally, these quick, informal meetings began as on-the- job training at construction sites or utility worksites.  Workers came together at the line supervisor’s pick-up truck with a toolbox set on top of the open tailgate.

But make no mistake!  This kind of safety training is not just for heavy construction, warehouse or industrial jobs!  Not at all!  It works equally well in office, retail and health-care settings.

Examples of Tailgate Safety Topics include:

  • Review of common trip hazards in offices or workrooms due to loose and tangled electrical cords, or other fall hazards.
  • How to avoid injury when lifting boxes or office equipment.
  • Demonstration of proper handling of kitchen knives by those in food service.
  • How to use new materials, chemicals or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s).

Here’s a rundown of how Tailgate Safety Training works and why it matters:

  • Tailgate/Toolbox Training is essentially FREE! There is little or no cost except for the use of a few minutes of your staff’s time.
  • Tailgate/Toolbox Training Meetings take between 5 and 15 minutes. What could be faster and more efficient?
  • CAL/OSHA promotes and rewards organizations that include Tailgate/Toolbox Safety Training, because it plays an important role in building a “culture of safety”.
  • Along with other types of safety training, Tailgate/Toolbox Training may help reduce Workers Compensation Claims and Insurance Costs.
  • Meetings are held to address safety issues meant for immediate application. There is little time to forget what one has just learned.
  • Meetings are often led by a supervisor, but management should also encourage participation by line workers or encourage peer led instruction. Workers become more engaged.
  • Logs or training report forms (paper or electronic) are kept at hand to make documenting the meeting “easy-peasy”. You can have these logs right at hand if an OSHA inspector asks to see your safety training logs or records.

Other benefits include –

  • Like organic vegetables, safety training is good for you but it is also quickly perishable. So Tailgate Training helps refresh skills and memory.
  • Tailgate Training can be used in response to addressing “near-misses”. If there is a pattern of observing the same hazards over and over, you know you need to handle it right away to avoid serious injury.


The BERT Team can help. We can also give you more details on how to find good Tailgate or Toolbox Topics, how to create or borrow good training forms or logs, and how to use them in your Learning Management System (LMS).

Checklist Download (IIPP)

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.










error: Content is protected !!