Workplace Safety Awards Should Meet These Tests

What can a simple workplace accident cost you? Let's try and count the costs:

  1. Out of pocket for actual medical costs
  2. Lost production during the accident
  3. Lost production due to employee absence
  4. Lost production due to analysis and correction of the reason for the accident
  5. Time spent with insurance company
  6. Increase cost of work comp insurance in years after the accident

Are we leaving anything out? Add that up. Could we be talking many thousands of dollars for even a minor accident?

Unless you are taking huge risks, you undoubtedly have some kind of workplace safety rules in place. You insurance company and local government agencies require the rules and accountability practices to show you are following these rules.

Are you doing enough? Is there a way to dramatically improve safety that will also improve morale and make the extra work required to do safety more acceptable. Like with so many aspects of how you do things in business, safety will improve if that is what you reward.

How should safety award programs be set up? We draw our list from SafetyPays.comand the details are here.

  1. Is it rewarding? The best kind of incentive program provides direct linkage between the goal (fewer accidental injuries) and the reward. The rewards provided must have a direct and immediate appeal to the targeted employees. "Bait the hook to suit the fish," as we say in the seafood business.

Cash is the universal reward, and we would certainly recommend that pay and or bonuses include a safety incentive. However, money sometimes becomes a given, that only wakes people up when they don't get the cash, and that may be accompanied by hard feelings.

Rewarding employees with fine jewelry lapel pins, on the other hand, never gets old. Trophies and plaques are not very easily shown on the shop floor. But a great lapel pin can be worn on a shirt color or shop jacket, giving daily reminders to everyone that safety pays off with recognition. And who doesn't want to be recognized. Which leads us to #4, #5 and #6 on the list:

  1. Does it provide a daily reminder to be safe? It is human nature to be enthusiastic about something at first, then to lose interest as time goes by.An effective safety incentive program must incorporate a "daily dynamic," to maintain a high level of employee involvement. The best way to do this is to allow the incentive rewards to grow as each consecutive accident/injury free day goes by in order to promote greater employee attention and interest.
  2. Does it generate healthy peer group pressure?
  3. Is it visual?

Clearly beautiful gold lapel pins are visible on a daily basis. The wearer is made aware of the pin each time he puts it on a garment and removes it. The others in the group can't help but notice the pin from time-to-time.

Receiving an award, as nice as that might be, is a completely separate thing in the mind of your workers that the recognition that comes with your praise. As noted by

  1. Does it adequately provide recognition for both group and individual achievement? Although people respond to tangible rewards, they also want and need recognition, particularly in a work environment. An incentive program must incorporate methods to acknowledge both group and individual success in maintaining a good safety record. Name recognition of the successful parties posted in a common area is always a successful technique. Announcing employee contributions and ideas is another powerful incentive.

How do you create the perfect pin for your safety reward program. You start by selecting a US manufacturer who has been making fine jewelry quality lapel pins since the 1950's. Debco's Excllence Line represents the best in lapel pin craftmanship, there can be little doubt. But you can also be assured that we can help you create a pin that your employees will appreciate and work hard to acquire.