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Quality Toolbox Talk in Construction

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Quality Toolbox Talks in Construction can be a very important tool, as they are usually the best way to deliver a message in regards to quality management or quality control in construction and to brief the teams on and off site for something that occured, an NCR in construction or to prepare them for an upcoming acitivity.

Modern Quality Management (and especially in construction) is all about coaching, mentoring, advising and supporting. Carrying out quality briefings (otherwise called “Quality Toolbox Talks” or “TBT’s”) is one of the methods widely used in construction projects all over the world in order to raise awareness on quality issues.

Health and Safety Briefings and Toolbox Talks are nowadays considered a standard practice in every project, but there is very limited information on what a Quality Toolbox Talk should cover.

First, we should probably mention that every talk or briefing should always be tailored to the needs of the specific audience.

As a result, it is obvious that a Quality Toolbox Talk to Directors and Senior Managers of a construction company/organization should be different than a briefing to operators or foremen.

So, it is common sense to carry out different briefings to different audiences.

Otherwise there is a real danger of people getting bored, uninterested and finally give up on anything that has to do with “quality”. We don’t really want that as Quality professionals , do we?

But before that, we’ll have a look on some topics that could be covered in Quality Toolbox Talks and Briefings in construction industry.

I have to mention here that these topics and presentations refer to organisations/companies who act as Main Contractors, Contractors or Subcontractors.

Quality Toolbox Talks for companies who act as Client representatives, Projects Managers or Designers and Consultants is a completely different category because the “product/service” these organisations “produce” and also their customers, need a different approach (probably the subject for a future post/article).

So, I’d split the possible topics in 2 categories: for Management and for Site personnel:

  1. Topics for Management (Directors, Project Managers, Senior Managers etc)
  • What does Quality Management offer and why it is essential for sustainable business in construction industry
  • How mistakes from the past will help us grow in the future. Knowing the risks = predicting what could go wrong= avoiding what could go wrong
  • ISO 9001 standard for construction
  • Cost of not doing it right first time. Losing money and new projects.
  • Making sure our Clients are happy at the end of each project equals winning new projects.
  • Proper Quality Management at the tender stage of a project means proper planning and Risk Management
  1. Topics for Site Personnel (workers, supervisors, foremen, operators, steel fixers, carpenters, fitters and basically everyone who works on site on a daily basis)
  • What is an NCR and why they are essential for improving ourselves
  • What are the Inspection and Test Plans (ITPs) and why we should follow them?
  • Storing materials properly on site
  • How to make sure we follow exactly what the requirements say?
  • Working together with Client’s representatives on site.
  • Documents that are needed for building something right

There are hundreds of issues and items that could have been included in that one and it is obvious it doesn’t cover anything but we tried:

– to keep it quick

– to keep it simple

– to avoid as much as possible the boring “quality vocabulary”

This is mostly a very basic introduction to someone who has never heard of what quality management is, and probably it will generate discussions and Q&As afterwards.

On the top of this post, you will find a quality toolbox talk that you can use at your construction project and even alter it accordingl