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Why start a Workplace Employee Safety Awards Program?

Making the workplace a safe place for contractors, visitors, volunteers and employees is a necessary obligation and many organizations have safety incentive programs in place to do just that. I wanted to provide some insight into just what workplace safety programs can accomplish as safety in the workplace and on the jobsite is a priority for management everywhere.

Considering the costs that can be cut due to a successful safety initiative, it is no wonder that more companies decide to implement a workplace safety program each year. HR Expert blog noted earlier this year, "workplace safety programs to reduce work-related injury and illness are concerned with promoting and rewarding safe practices at work, reducing injuries and illnesses at work [and] eliminating fatalities at work."

Safety incentives motivate workers to comply with workplace safety guidelines because they providetangible rewards as employees meet specific goals on the jobsite and in the workplace. Most companies will have general safety goals for all employees and then specific goals for safety compliance for each job position. As the NFIB reports, developing site-specific safety goals to address anticipated hazards can help a company improve safe work performance, with better efficiency and productivity; lower direct and indirect costs; provide access to more bid opportunities; better control the safety of subcontractors; and improve ability to keep the project on schedule.

When companies currently utilizing Safety Incentive Programs were interviewed by the NFIB to gauge the impact of the incentive program the following results were reported:

77% believed that incentive programs were effective.

55% experienced a reduction in workers' compensation costs.

73% said absenteeism had decreased.

96% said safety awareness was increased.

84% saw a reduction in accidents.

70% said the programs were cost effective.

The National Safety Council estimated in 2006 that the average economic cost of a work related injury was just over $30,000 (US) and that there are over 4.4 million injuries in the workplace every year. The total cost of workplace injuries and fatalities cost American companies about $155 billion (US) every year. There is obviously a lot of room for improvement when it comes to safety in the workplace, and with the help of a safety incentive program any jobsite can become a safer place to visit, work or volunteer.

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