Toolbox Talks

Presented by Mark Solano, CHST. and the Laborers Training School

December 1, 2023

Toolbox Talk: Avoiding Vehicle Incidents through Proper Training

Toolbox Talk: Avoiding Vehicle Incidents through Proper Training

Today's Toolbox Talk focuses on a critical aspect of our work – avoiding vehicle incidents through proper training. Whether you operate heavy machinery, drive a company vehicle, or simply walk around our workplace, understanding and implementing safety measures is crucial for everyone. Vehicle incidents can have severe consequences, but with the right training, we can significantly reduce the risk.

1. Know Your Vehicle: Understanding the vehicle you operate is the first step in preventing incidents. Ensure that you are familiar with its controls, blind spots, and operational limits. Regularly review the vehicle's manual and attend any training sessions provided by the company.

2. Defensive Driving Techniques: Implement defensive driving techniques to anticipate and react to potential hazards. Maintain a safe following distance, be aware of your surroundings, and always expect the unexpected. Defensive driving not only protects you but also those around you. As a reminder all vehicles parking on campus should be parking in “reverse”. This allows for a less chance of backing out as someone is passing.

3. Stay Alert and Avoid Distractions: Being alert while operating a vehicle is paramount. Avoid distractions such as texting, talking on the phone, or adjusting the radio while driving. Even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to a serious incident.

4. Regular Maintenance Checks: Perform routine maintenance checks on your vehicle before each use. Ensure that brakes, lights, tires, and other critical components are in good working condition. Report any issues immediately and do not operate a vehicle that is not in proper working order.

5. Proper Loading and Securing of Cargo: If your job involves transporting materials, ensure that the cargo is loaded and secured properly. Improperly loaded or unsecured cargo can affect the vehicle's stability and lead to incidents. Follow company guidelines for loading and securing materials.

6. Obey Traffic Laws: Obeying traffic laws is not only a legal obligation but a fundamental safety measure. Speed limits, traffic signals, and road signs exist to keep everyone safe. Failure to follow these rules can result in accidents and legal consequences.

7. Communication is Key: Use proper communication methods to coordinate with other workers, especially in areas with vehicle traffic. Clear signals, use of horns, and maintaining eye contact can prevent misunderstandings and contribute to a safer work environment.

8. Emergency Response Training: In addition to preventative measures, it's crucial to be prepared for emergencies. Training on how to respond to vehicle incidents, including first aid and evacuation procedures, is essential for everyone in the workplace.

Conclusion: By prioritizing proper training and consistently applying safety measures, we can significantly reduce the risk of vehicle incidents. Remember, safety is everyone's responsibility. If you have any concerns or suggestions for improving our safety practices, please don't hesitate to speak up.

Stay safe, and let's work together to create a secure and accident-free environment.

Thank you.


Mark Solano, CHST.

Laborers Training School Safety Officer

I entered the construction industry in the summer of 1979, faced with a choice from my father, who was president of Local 652 at the time: go to college or join the Laborers. I chose the Laborers.  

I attended the Laborers Training School in Anza during the summer of 1980. Throughout my career, I worked with several respected companies, including Granite, Silverado, and Full Traffic Maintenance. 

My passion for safety ignited during my time at Granite and I later assumed the role of Safety Manager at Griffith Company. This journey led me to serve on the subcommittee for Laborers Local 652 in Santa Ana in a management capacity.  

It was there that I first learned of the position of Safety Officer at the Laborers Training School. Recognizing it as my calling, I embraced the opportunity to be part of a program that imparts knowledge ,experience, and safety values to young apprentices. It's both an honor and privilege to serve Laborer Local unions and contractors across Southern California.

"The path of safety and service is a rewarding one, built on sharing knowledge, experiences, and shaping a safer tomorrow."