1st Edition

Essential Guide to Toolbox Talks Banishing Boredom and Re-Thinking the Routine

By Scott Moffat Copyright 2025
    96 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    96 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    A ToolBox Talk (TBT) is a pre-job task made to ensure all parties involved in a task have a full understanding of what they should do. Toolbox Talks are not easy, however the author hopes this book will provide the right guidance to make TBTs less daunting, and easier to use. They are not a tick the box exercise, therefore please do not treat them as such. This book challenges this perception and puts forth a case to consider TBTs essential to delivering safe working environments, thereby providing a complete understanding of the task.

    Essential Guide to Toolbox Talks focuses on improving three Non-Technical Skills (NTS) related to TBTs; Communication, Situation Awareness and Stress Management. With communication the book looks at the impact of inappropriate questions, allowing time for questions/feedback, use of familiarities and knowing the answer and the errors that can occur. For situation awareness, the author conveys that effective communication enhances the environment in which people work, checking that the group understands the tasks; further coverage of what to do when things go wrong underpins this. Finally, it covers stress management and how important it is to confirm people know what to look for during a TBT and what to do if they believe a team member is under stress. With the onus on these three vital NTS, the reader will be able to deliver focused and much-improved TBTs that guarantees safe and effective performances in the workplace.

    This neat and punchy book will change that tick the box perspective of the Toolbox Talk. It will appeal to both practitioners in Human Factors and anyone at the front line in high-risk industries where TBTs are a requirement, especially those in oil and gas, nuclear, construction, logistics, transport and aviation who will be certain to consider it an essential guide.


    Acronyms/Offshore phrases/ Scottish slang/words   

    Chapter 1 – Introduction        

    Who am I, or more importantly who/what am I not? 

    Chapter 2 – Introduction to NTS.       

    Six Non-Technical Skills:      

    Which of these six NTS do you think you will be good at?   

    “Which of the NTS do you think you do not need to know anything about?”          

    “Why are you only examining three NTS?”  

    “What do you know about TBTs?”    

    Chapter 3 – Communication  

    Inappropriate questions:         

    Knowing the answer: gorillas in the mist sates p.22) hand signals    

    Allowing time for questions and feedback:   

    Define what is meant by the term Communication:  

    Use of familiarities:    

    We can read each others minds:         

    Get everyone involved:          

    Communication Must do’s:    

    Chapter 4 – Situation Awareness       

    How do we know the brain/working memory is doing what it is programmed to do?     

    Most common Situation Awareness errors during a TBT:    

    Lack of detail about what to do if something were to go wrong.       

    Not discussing distractions or how to deal with distractions 

    Inappropriate 20 second scan 

    What I always thought was the obvious one, but not always: Hold a TBT at the worksite    

    Situation Awareness Must do’s:         

    Chapter 5 – Stress management         

    What is stress and why is it so difficult to define?     

    Different types of Stress        

    There are four main ways to identify Acute stress:    

    Stress Management – Must Dos    

    Chapter 6 – Summary of all key points from all sections:   



    Having a varied background since working offshore, Scott Moffat is one of the leading experts within the Non-Technical Skills (NTS) discipline. To date he has observed over 100 groups in simulation exercises, over 90 external simulations and over 50 offshore NTS observations. All of this data plus his working background makes Scott feel just as at home in the simulator as he does offshore and thrives in sharing this knowledge with new groups.

    Although he has a strong understanding of all the NTS – his area of interest lies in helping those on the front line understand and apply Communication, Situation Awareness and Stress Management.

    Recently Scott has developed and facilitated a unique programme of Toolbox Talk coaching across the Oil & Gas Industry building on his own experience offshore, in the classroom and through the observation of hundreds of TBTs over the years. Scotts unique ability to blend theory with context and humour make this vital reading for anyone looking to improve their knowledge or understanding of TBTs.