Creating a safety culture within a company must start with upper management’s commitment to safety.

An effective safety incentive program is essential in conveying this commitment. A successful safety program will raise awareness of safety issues, create a safety attitude, promote teamwork and provide motivation to accomplish the established goals.

The most successful and effective safety programs are focused on proactive solutions. Employees are rewarded for behaviors that lead to a good safety record. Such behaviors could include making safety suggestions, attending safety meetings, assisting in safety inspections and tours, and reporting ‘close calls’. Programs that reward and encourage employees in a proactive way produce solid results and long term safety improvement. These activities work to build teamwork and motivation.

Recognition of individual employees and groups are key when the organization’s goals are achieved. Proactive programs result in achieving goals such as the following: work-hours without recordable accidents, months without lost-time injuries, reduction in worker’s compensation costs, etc. These are the results of a safety program and should not be the main focus. Achieving proactive behavior is the focus of the program and awards should be structured to reward that behavior. Achieving the numbers is the ‘bonus’ of a proactive program.

For a safety program to work well, incentives must be distributed fairly. Contests that reward only a few people or those that reinforce the view that safety is a matter of chance or luck should be avoided. Again, rewarding proactive behavior encourages everyone to participate in a meaningful way.

In today’s diverse workforce, the incentive awards must appeal to all demographics. Not everyone is motivated by the same reward. While a jacket or trip may be a sought after reward for one participant, it may have no incentive value for another. We offer a wide variety of rewards for all employees and have multiple level reward options also available.

In any program, consistency and follow through are crucial. There should be regular safety meetings and incentives every month. When you implement safety suggestions, correct safety problems as they happen and reward reporting of accidents, the program will work because commitment is demonstrated.

Reward the proactive behavior and celebrate the results.