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Ready for Work Toolbox Talk

Show up to the jobsite ready for work every day. Being ill, fatigued, or having other work impediments can make room for injury on the jobsite.

Ready for Work Safety Talk

In the construction industry, workplace safety should always be at the forefront. We always talk about what you should be doing on the job to ensure your safety, but how can you best ensure the safety of yourself and your co-workers? By ensuring you are 100% ready to come to work in the first place.

There are many outside factors that can throw you off your game; when you’re dealing with heavy machinery and potentially hazardous chemicals, this isn’t something you should take lightly. In this talk, we are going to go over some of the reasons why you may not be ready to come to work.


In today’s day and age, making sure you come to work healthy is of utmost importance. With the COVID protocols in place, you should not come to work if you are dealing with a fever, fatigue, coughing, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus. Coming to work in this state places those around you at risk.

Not only are you exposing them to the virus, but the virus can throw you off your game, placing those around you in danger. If you are unable to perform your duties at 100% you can not only hurt yourself but your co-workers as well. This extends beyond COVID. Flu season has plagued construction sites for decades. It’s very easy to spread the flu once it has made its way into the ranks. If you feel as though you may be coming down with something, you should avoid the workplace as much as possible.


Fatigue is one of the biggest killers on job sites across the country. Unfortunately, too many companies don’t take fatigue, and the threat it poses seriously. Just by the nature of the job, construction work can be very tiring. You are often asked to complete tasks that require manual labor and deadlines can lead to crunches. This is a recipe for fatigue.

Beyond work, you have to deal with the demands of home life as well as your social life. Because of this, there are many people who are too tired to perform their functions safely. Get at least six hours of sleep a night and eat a balanced diet to help combat the demands of a busy life. Drink caffeinated drinks or take a break and stretch when feeling tired on the job.


Changing your medications or adding a new one often has an overlooked effect on how we feel and how fatigued we feel. It often takes the body some time to adapt to a new medication. When you first start a new medication, it’s important that you try it off the job to see how it affects you.

Ask your doctor about all of the side effects. Make sure he or she understands the work you do as well as any other medications you take. Let a supervisor know if you are not feeling well due to a medication. If you feel comfortable telling a coworker about what medication you are taking, let him or her know so they can keep an eye on you.


There is good stress as well as bad stress. We are more familiar with bad stress distress. Stress from work demands, home demands, family problems, health problems, etc. affects us every day. A combination of high expectations for productivity and limited resources to complete work often leads to high-stress levels on the job. It is important to be able to handle stress in a constructive way. Exercising or taking time to enjoy hobbies is a good way to relieve stress. Recognize when you are stressed and step away from the situation to take time to relax.

climbing up ladder on construction site.

Workplace Conflict

Dealing with issues in the workplace can make it difficult to come to work every morning ready to contribute. In some cases, it may be better to take some time off in order to properly sort some things out. However, the best course of action is to speak with someone in the company - specifically HR - if you are having an issue in the workplace.

Exposed to Illness

This is something we rarely used to think about. But since COVID-19 has taken over the way we operate on a daily basis, we need to change our previous line of thinking. In the past, you may not have thought twice after being exposed to someone who was feeling a little sickly.

Now, it’s in your best interest, and those around you, to call into work if you have been exposed to someone who may be sick. Especially if that person has symptoms resembling COVID-19. Again, if you are unsure, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Family Emergency

Emergencies can happen from time to time. If you are dealing with a family emergency, it’s typically best to take some time off while things get situated. Remember, your job is just your job. At the end of the day, taking care of your family should be priority number one. If you’re dealing with a family emergency, do not hesitate to call off for work.

Mental Health Day

Sometimes, you just need a day off to watch out for yourself. Perhaps you're burnt out from work or home life and you need some time to catch up on sleep, run some errands or just relax. It's perfectly acceptable to need a day for yourself. And, if your boss is understanding, they'll know that this personal day can help you recharge and come back to the office with renewed ambition.

House Emergency

Sometimes, house emergencies happen, too. For example, perhaps you started a small fire on accident while making breakfast. Or the boiler broke. Or there was a gas leak. Or you found bed bugs all over the bedroom and the inspector is on their way over. These are all legitimate house emergencies that warrant a day off from work.

Commute Issue

Commuting complications are, oftentimes, not in your control. Perhaps the bus broke down, or the train was experiencing delays or there was an accident on your route and there's bumper-to-bumper traffic. At some point (if it's taking hours to get to work), you might need to call your boss and let them know that you're not able to make it in that day.

Find and schedule topics faster

Raken's toolbox talk app makes it easy to choose from a pre-loaded library (or upload your own), then schedule and assign topics for any project. We'd love to show you how in a demo, and get you started on a free trial.

Download a PDF of this toolbox talk

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