Posts Tagged ‘safety incentives’

For Safety Sake, Launching an Effective Safety Program

Monday, July 8th, 2013

An effective safety program is one that works. Sounds obvious right? Well maybe not. It’s important to break down your safety program and ensure that each part works efficiently and with a clear goal in mind. The Michigan Municipal Workers’ Compensation Fund outlines just that in their Safety and Health Resource Manual.

These components are important to keep in mind when evaluating your safety program:

  • Creating the Program- Your approach depends on several aspects that are important to keep in mind based on your organization such as the nature and size of your operations, how many employees you have, number of locations, and the budget you have to work with.
  • What’s Your Objective?- Is it clear to your employees, or for that matter, to you. Define an objective and be sure that everything you do going forward relates back to it.
  • Targeting the Correct Participants- Identify which employees need to be involved in order to meet the objective.
  • Find a Focus- Having a central theme is key. Makes the objective clear.
  • Select Appropriate Prizes with Increasing Value- Contrary to what you might think these incentives don’t have to eat up your entire budget. Prizes like gift cards can be purchased in bulk at a discount from GiftCard Partners to save on costs. And when purchasing cards from places like CVS/pharmacy, Whole Foods Market, AutoZone, your employees receive prizes they can really use.

A safety program is made up of much more than hard hats and protective eye wear and it’s important to communicate a clear idea of what that is with your workers. Check out more ideas, tips and advice for starting your own safety program from the full Safety Incentive Programs Manual from Michigan Municipal Workers’ Compensation Fund here.


Your Safety Training Program: Are you following the formula for success?

Monday, May 20th, 2013

The training and implementation of your safety program is set up for failure without the emphasis on one key word: participation. If you do not have the participation of the workforce you don’t have a successful safety program. This is because it can be difficult to foster enthusiasm and cooperation when training involves sitting through a 3-hour safety training video or reminders like posters of smiling faces in hard hats and goggles.

Managers understand the importance of workers safety programs and the effect it has on their organization as a whole. Take a look at the Accountability Model ProfessionalSafety published in their May 2013 edition, Near-Miss Reporting. It breaks accountability into four steps and explains how, “Accountability entails defining expectations, providing training, defining metrics and recognizing outcomes.”

Since we are in the rewards and recognition industry let’s pay extra close attention to the recognition portion of this diagram. Incentives are a powerful tool in the engagement process; the report states,

“After the announcement to all employees regarding the details of how the program would work and when it was to begin, employees showed little excitement or acknowledgment of the program. However, once rewards such as leaving early each day, special parking privileges and celebratory lunches starting happening, more crews became interested.”

Check out the full report to learn more about overcoming barriers in your safety training program and vital measurement and recognition tools to foster a long-term safety program.

Spot Rewards – Old School vs. New School

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Written by Forrest Richardson, GCP's Safety Incentives GURU

Fall of 2011 OSHA regulations begin penalizing incentives or disincentives that use lagging indicators.  Since most programs had two main components:  1) spot rewards, and 2) rewards for no injuries; the one item left standing is spot rewards which often wasn’t compelling enough at the time to warrant the initiatives.  Spot rewards in the classic example–where safety manager walks up to employee and hands gift card for wearing of safety glasses–will always present an occasional and valuable opportunity for amplifying the message in a safety culture; but the range of strategies and influential program designs can go much further.

Instead of having safety management handing out gift cards on the floor or daily, save rewards for your safety meeting to employ a strategy of praise in public, coach in private.  While maintaining record of which employees have received a workstation inspection recently and systematically observing production throughout staff evenly, have an objective approach by not mixing incentives during that time.  But take good notes for the safety committee to review for recognition at next week’s meeting.  Old-school way might have been a practice that lends itself to “here comes the safety sheriff”.  New school ways reinforce safe behaviors by giving recognition publicly at safety meetings so the workforce individuals each know what gift card their peers received and what behaviors they were observed doing correctly and when, and then got surprised with reward and recognition at the meeting.

Safety Incentives Lead to Fewer Injuries at Work

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Behavior based safety incentive programs have been shown to reduce on-the-job injuries. Behavior based safety incentive programs reward employees both for safe behavior, and reporting incidents of unsafe behavior or unsafe working conditions. Using this carrot based incentive program has proven to reduce injury, which also reduces workman’s compensation costs for the organization. Based on a 2010 survey, the Government Accountability Office estimates that only 25% of manufacturing companies were using a safety rewards program. This means that 75% of manufacturers, which have higher rates of on-the-job injury, are both allowing more injuries and unsafe workplace practices to occur and simultaneously costing themselves thousands of dollars in workman’ compensation claims.

Safety rewards can range from providing small incentives for workers who serve on a safety and responsibility committee, to providing more substantial incentives such as gift cards to employees who report unsafe activity or unsafe working conditions. Providing substantial rewards to employees for making often difficult choices to report incidents shows employees that the organization they work for stands behind their choices and their safety. Showing that kind of support also helps maintain productivity, a positive morale, and employee retention rates within the company.

How do you show your employees that you care for their safety? For more information on safety reward and incentive programs check out this article from Risk & Insurance Digital Network.

Safety Program Ideas You Can Really Use

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

GiftCard Partners recently published our Gift Card Usage results white paper, which is chock full of ways employers are using gift cards to engage, motivate and reward employees.  Employers use incentives to promote all kinds of desired behaviors, but amongst the most important are for complying with safety regulations and precautions. A safer workplace leads to lower company healthcare insurance premiums, lower employee coverage contributions, less sick days, fewer short-term and long-term disability work outages, and increased productivity.

Here are a few of our best safety program success stories involving gift cards as incentives. Motivate yourself to motivate your employees with these success stories!

-  An electronics and process controls company plays “Safety Bingo” every month and they have been accident free for 15 years. “I use them as prizes, sometimes we will have 2 games going at one time like 4 corners and a regular Bingo, so I will give a $50 gift card for the 4 corners. Or I will surprise an employee who I catch using all their PPE (personal protective equipment) correctly.

-  An off-highway vehicle manufacturer uses gift cards “as incentives for Safety (no accident) and also for project team participation gifts”.

-  An engineering and remediation company created a “Spot Bonus plan where managers can reward an employee on the spot for doing a job exceptionally or safely.”

-  A community hospital gives gift card incentives to “staff who use creative ideas in initiating safety activities such as promoting better hand hygiene, and appropriate use of personal  protective equipment for patients in isolation.”

These employers and programs buy their gift cards in bulk to save money on their incentives.

Want to read more Safety Blogs from GCP? Click here for more on safety programs and safety

America’s Most Wanted Incentives & Rewards for Safety Programs

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Using positive reinforcement to promote and reward for workplace safety guideline adherence is not a new concept. But what you choose to reward with can impact your program’s long term success and ROI. Do your employees really want more swag or tchotchkes? Really…not very likely.

But, if employees are offered a choice of gift cards, combined with the choice of what they purchase with those gift cards puts the power of choice in their hands. This power of choice stays in the employee’s memory, and it’s tied in their mind to their employer’s generosity.

It’s not just about what employees want. When employers offer “most wanted incentives” like gift  cards, their likelihood of realizing ROI in the short and long term increases. Offering flexible and coveted rewards offers workplace safety programs repeated adherence to safety precautions and sends the message that the employer cares as much about the employee as the ROI.

Here are a few examples of our typical gift card customers’ workplace safety incentive programs:
-          Measured accident reduction
-          Safety awareness contributions
-          Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) programs
-          Increased productivity rewards
-          Health and wellness programs, tailored to specific job functions
-          Driver safety and incident reduction
-          Training milestones

Check out America’s Most Wanted Gift Card Incentive Choices

Workplace Safety Incentives and the Debate Over Getting it Right

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Incentives within workplace safety programs have long been central to engaging employees in achieving and promoting an optimally safe work environment. However, learnings over time have led to debate about HOW to incent properly, whether it be with gift cards, merchandise or travel. Promoting not only safe behaviors, but also creating a safe environment to report unsafe behaviors, is critical to the long term success of a safe workplace.

Some look to incentive companies like TharpeRobbins to create their workplace safety programs. These companies help define ideal, safe working environments and behaviors and they roll out programs like “Safe Work and Safe Driver Programs”. These programs promote and work towards accident-free workplaces through recognition and rewards via point systems. A recent Incentive Magazine article, noted that “During the announcement of the new programs, TharpeRobbins put the reality of workplace safety into context with some financial statistics from the National Safety Council 1:

*         There are 3.8 million workplace injuries in the US each year
*         90,000 of those injuries cause permanent disabilities
*         The average cost per injury: $28,000, adding up to $130 billion for the country overall

So, there is a lot of cash at risk for companies to get their safety programs “right” and to do it right, it means creating an incentive program for the long term. Organizations like The National Safety Council support the use of incentives to promote a safer workplace, as long as the program goes “beyond the gift cards and improved performance indicators” to ensure that unreported injuries aren’t on the rise. They say, “Incentive programs can enhance established occupational safety programs but should not be considered an easy fix to underlying safety problems”. 2

OSHA also stands strong on the incentive debate, challenging companies to not just institute a safety rewards program, but be sure they aren’t based primarily on injury and illness numbers. Successful programs  weigh heavily on promoting proper reporting of injuries, without the risk of retribution or loss of incentives.

Some food for thought for your creating or improving your workplace safety incentive program for 2012.

1.       Incentive Magazine: TharpeRobbins Rolls Out Safety Incentive Programs
2.      National Safety Council: What’s your reward? The debate over incentive programs