EHS Today advises that rewards and incentive programs are key strategies in improving and ensuring employee safety. Increasing awareness combined with tangible rewards are effective tools in this area.
According to the report, safety experts note that initiating and maintaining incentive programs provides a platform to alter unsafe work behaviors and can actually work to “change the culture of the workplace.”
Sean Roark, an incentive marketing expert, stresses that incentive programs are most effective as part of a company’s overall safety strategy. He went on to explain that, “incentive programs contribute to increased awareness, and work to align behaviors with organizational goals.” He added that merchandise rewards seem to have “a much stronger response than financial or gift card incentive” rewards.
As an example of safety incentives, industrial safety expert Paul Balmert notes that some companies hold drawings that provide the employees with the opportunity of earning a car. Other smaller companies offer less expensive incentives to encourage beneficial safety practices and behavior.
Studies dictate that safety incentive programs provide long-term attitude change. With U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration statistics showing 3.7 million workplace injuries reported during 2008, finding strategies to reduce these incidents is essential to employers.