Should Your Company Have a Safety Incentive Program

Implementing a safety incentive program can enhance and maintain interest in your safety program and build cooperation among employees. Safety Incentive Programs are especially effective when you want to launch a safety campaign focusing on a specific area of concern. But, a Safety Incentive Program is not a substitute for a safety program!

Before your company implements a Safety Incentive Program, you should make sure all the components of an effective safety program are in place. This includes such things as:

  • A safety policy that clearly states the Company’s commitment to providing a safe environment for employees,  customers and visitors.
  • Policies that communicate expectations of employees in terms of responsibility and accountability for safety in the work place.
  • Ongoing management support for formal and informal activities that promote safety.
  • Work rules that make expectations clear about job performance and other areas of conduct that affect workplace safety.
  • Effective procedures for applying appropriate corrective action when employees fail to comply with expectations.
  • A performance appraisal system that includes the evaluation of employee safety performance.
  • A safety committee that evaluates incidents and accidents and seeks ways to prevent them in the future.
  • The designation of individuals who have responsibility for monitoring workplace safety at regular intervals.

Advocates of safety incentives believe use of incentives encourages and promotes appropriate safe behavior. It is a way for companies to show they care for their employees and will recognize those who work safely. Long-term behavior can be changed by creating heightened safety awareness and providing financial rewards for proper behavior. The result can be improved morale and reduced workers compensation costs.

To be effective, Safety Incentive Programs must be properly developed, implemented and maintained. The most common failures in Safety Incentive Programs are a loss of management commitment (leading to a breakdown in enthusiasm and eroding funding) or improper administration (usually related to an over-burdened administration system struggling to cope with immense paperwork requirements).

The ultimate decision is up to your company – only you can decide what is best for your company given the nature of its operations, the resources available and the culture.

Whatever decision your company makes, remember, the goal of Safety Incentive Programs is to increase worker awareness of safety issues and procedures, not to win prizes.

For more information or assistance in implementing a Safety Incentive Program, contact us at 1-888-346-3461, Ext. 6402, complete and return the Request for Safety Management Services Consultation form.

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