WHAT IS A SAFETY INCENTIVE PROGRAM?
A Safety Incentive Program is a reward system that encourages workers to report injuries, illnesses, near misses, or hazards; while also encouraging their involvement in the company’s safety and health management program, by offering rewards and/or recognition.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING A SAFETY INCENTIVE PROGRAM?
A well designed and managed safety incentive program offers many benefits, such as:
- Encourages employee involvement in the Health & Safety Program
- Employees have sense of ownership in the Health & Safety Program
- Establishes/Strengthens good work habits
- Motives behavior changes
- Improves morale and employees have sense of recognition and value
- Prevents accidents
- Financial savings
DESIGNING YOUR PROGRAM
The first step in creating your program, is to Identify why you want to implement a program in the first place. Are you wanting to reward employees for their current safe work practices, or as a mean to help motivate positive behavior changes?
Other things to consider would be:
- Do you have a budget to support the program?
- Is senior management involved and supportive?
- Are workers involved in the development of the program?
- Is the program aligned with company’s safety objectives?
THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF A SAFETY INCENTIVE PROGRAM IS TO ENSURE THAT IT RAISES EMPLOYEES’ AWARENESS OF WORKPLACE SAFETY AND BEST SAFETY PRACTICES, WITHOUT CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT THAT HINDERS INCIDENT REPORTING FOR FEAR OF LOSING A REWARD OR INCENTIVE PRIZE.
Incorporate a Safety Incentive Program that focuses on leading indicators of workplace safety, as opposed to rewarding employees based on zero incidents or accidents. Some examples of leading indicators are:
1. Safe Work ‘“ This would include things like participation in safety meetings, safe acts recognized by a supervisor, perfect attendance, adhering to PPE policies, etc.
2. Proactivity ‘“ this would include things like reporting a near miss, reporting unsafe conditions, good housekeeping, completing safety training, participating in daily stretching ( MSI prevention), participating in inspections/audits, providing safety suggestions, etc.
3. Safety Leadership– examples of safety leadership would include: leading a safety meeting or stretch exercises, helping shadow or partnering with a new employee for safe behaviors, participation in an accident investigation/ root cause analysis, and recognizing an employee for a safe act.
4. Safety Engagement– this would include: recognizing an employee for going above and beyond as it relates to safe behaviors, being a safety team player, or exercising ‘˜safety excellence’, achieving good results on a safety inspection, etc.
At the end of the day, raising and promoting the level of safety awareness in your organization, and recognizing your employees for conducting safe work, are some key aspects of a successful safety incentive program. It is also important to ensure that the emphasis is placed on motivating people rather than constantly giving awards. One of the most effective (and least costly) rewards, is management’s acknowledgement, and recognition of an employee’s good performance ‘“ especially when that recognition is witnessed by the employees peers. While the awards is nice, most of the emphasis should be placed on building teamwork and creating the safest workplace.
A good safety incentive system will recognize and promote a safer workplace, which will ultimately prevent accidents and help save money on the bottom line.
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