Survey Shows Growing Interest

Results ranged from enthusiastic employees to zero OSHA recordables and a 60 percent reduction in auto accident claims.

Occupational Health & Safety subscribers who answered an e-mailed survey earlier this year indicated they have used and planned to repeat safety incentive programs within a year. They also reported excellent results, which ranged from enthusiastic employees to measurable accident reductions, zero OSHA recordables, and a 60 percent reduction in auto accidents claims, in one case.

The survey was e-mailed on March 18 to 5,244 current subscribers who had indicated on subscription cards that they buy safety incentive programs or materials. All of the respondents work for companies that employ 100 or more workers. When the survey came to a close March 26, its questions had been answered by 487 respondents (9.3 percent).

Successful Programs
Most of the questions asked respondents to choose among specified answers. Responders could write in an answer to Question 7, which asked: "Please tell us about the success of the program."

Among their answers were these statements:

  • 2003 success was very hard to measure. Changed to a different program for 2004.
  • 40% reduction in OSHA recordable rate.
  • 60% reduction in auto claims in 2003, 9% fewer lost workday injuries.
  • Accidents were reduced 40%.
  • Achieved what we were looking for--Additional interest.
  • Does very well--ultimately reduced the number of unsafe acts and conditions in plant.
  • Employees are appreciative of anything that recognizes their efforts.
  • Employees love it!
  • End result was zero injuries for the calendar year.
  • Extremely successful, accidents for the year dropped from 11 to 3 for ~120 employees.
  • Failed.
  • Fair response to restaurant certificates. Days off generated a lot of interest.
  • Fair to good.
  • Good in reducing accidents per unit; not for overall reduction.
  • Has increased awareness.
  • Has tremendously increased participation in the overall safety program.
  • In the past year, we have had a 32% reduction of safety-related injuries/incidents.
  • Incident rates for each location decreased.
  • It has cut my accident rate by 90%.
  • It is a once a year safety slogan contest that really heightens people's attention to safety.
  • It was successful. The employees were happy.
  • It wasn't very successful. It has more of a tendency to promote not reporting injuries.
  • Just getting started and looking for new ideas.
  • Lower accident frequency. Good safety awareness.
  • Not as successful as we would like to see, but we have shown improvements.
  • Our plant is going on a 2 year record.
  • People responded in a positive way, injuries are down.
  • Pretty well received.
  • Program has encouraged better communication of concerns and employee awareness.
  • Reduced incident rate over past 3 years that we started program.
  • Reduced severity of injuries, less comp to pay.
  • Some success but language and culture enter the picture.
  • Successful safety numbers.
  • The goal was not met and incentive did not change behavior to prevent accidents.
  • The notepad puts the word safety in full view.
  • The plant has gone over 1000 days without a recordable injury.
  • This is only a small part of the program. Rewards alone will not improve safety.
  • Too early to tell.
  • We achieved over 1.5 years without a lost time accident.
  • We consider it quite successful. The participation seems to grow each quarter.
  • We have been doing this for several years and employees look forward to it.
  • We have reduced our OSHA recordables since 1999-2003 by 78%.
  • We're on our way to achieving our goals, but we're not there yet.

Charts summarizing the responses follow.

In the past 12 months, has your plant used safety contests to improve safety performance?

53% Yes

47% No

If not, do you plan to do so in the next 12 months?

45% Yes

Through what supply source did you obtain the awards? Check all that apply.





Incentive Reps




Discount Houses


Sales Promotion Agencies




What kinds of items were used in the contest(s)? Check all that apply.

Top 10 responses

1. Gift certificates/cards

2. Clothing

3. Food/beverages

4. Recognition awards/plaques

5. Watches/clocks

6. Sporting goods

7. Electronics

8. Cameras/audio/videos/tapes/CDs

9. Housewares

10. Travel

Others include:

Writing instruments
First aid
Logo gift
Fire protection

Will you repeat this or a similar program? And how often?

Yes, I will repeat the program annually


Yes, I will repeat, but the timing is undetermined at this point


Yes, I will repeat the program in approx. 6 months


No, I will not repeat this program or a similar program




This article originally appeared in the June 2004 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.

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