Effective Safety Incentives

A growing number of companies are changing their on-the-job safety incentive program to reward employees for preventing accidents and injuries.  The goal is to change behavior through positive reinforcement.  Even if companies do not have a formal safety incentive program in place, managers should offer positive verbal or written acknowledgement to employees who exhibit safety-conscious behaviors.

Companies that offer incentives to reward employees for the number of hours they work without recording a workers’ compensation injury may help reduce injuries and lost work time, but it does little to promote safety awareness among its workers. 

In addition, workers and managers may feel pressured not to report an injury in order to qualify for incentives.  Minor injuries may not be reported until they become more severe, resulting in higher claims and longer time off.

From Business Insurance, August 1, 2011 issue, p. 6.