Reinforcing Workplace Safety
- By Jeffrey R. Fina
- Jun 01, 2008
Employers intuitively understand the consequences
of an unsafe workplace. Our customers
tell us there’s a lot at stake: employee
injury or fatality, decreased productivity, disappointed
customers, loss of profits, and loss of business
top a long list.
When accidents happen, management and corporate
leadership are prompted to appraise their effectiveness in
promoting workplace safety.Training programs are often
mandatory in many industries, such as transportation,
construction, and manufacturing. However, what is intuitively
important to an employer doesn’t necessarily
carry the same weight with employees.Consequently, the
actions of employees don’t always align with a company’s
goals and initiatives.
From a safety perspective, employees don’t intend to
put themselves or others in harm’s way, but pressure to
meet deadlines, service levels, and productivity goals
often can result in overlooked safety protocols. So how
do you go beyond training to foster a culture of safety?
Based on results reported by our clients, rewarding and
recognizing employees for safe work behavior significantly
contributes to a more safety-conscious workforce,
which reduces on-the-job accidents and injury.
More importantly, recognition helps reinforce training,
which establishes a culture in which employees
themselves help promote proper safety procedures
while on the job, according to OSHA.
Driving Better Results
We have worked with many Fortune 1000 companies to
design and implement employee reward and recognition
programs for workplace safety. The programs we
design strengthen and enhance the results of our customers’
safety initiatives through positive reinforcement.
A complementary extension of our customers’
existing safety programs and initiatives, our new Workplace
Safety Recognition Program recognizes employees
for being more aware and proactive in their attention
to safety guidelines.
The programs range from mileage-based safe driving
to injury prevention and are executed via a Webbased,
turnkey, points-based or peer-to-peer nomination
By implementing the program, customers such as
WIKA Instrument Corporation are realizing significant
return on their investment, as well as improved employee
adherence to safety guidelines. WIKA, which
manufactures pressure and temperature instrumentation,
strives for continuous improvement in every aspect
of its business, especially workplace safety.
WIKA previously was at the industry average for
workplace injuries. Annual costs associated with employee
injuries were costing the company roughly $1.35
per $100 of payroll, ultimately hurting the company’s
bottom line. WIKA chose to work with us because it
could streamline its employee recognition programs
online and establish rewards for employees who comply
with OSHA’s safety standards for manufacturing
groups. Two programs tailored to WIKA’s needs, a
points-based Employee Safety Recognition Program
and a new Service Awards Program. gave it the ability
to foster continuous workplace safety improvement and
recognize employees’ accomplishments.
As a result, WIKA reduced its recordable injury frequency
to just 1.4 percent, compared to the OSHA
manufacturing groups’ average of 3.3 percent.Using rewards
for employees who comply with OSHA’s safety
standards,worker’s compensation costs decreased from
$1.35 per $100 in 2005 to 10 cents per $100 in 2007.
WIKA employees now receive their gifts in a timely
fashion, view their points history on the Web, and use a
customized gift catalog Web site to select their gifts.
WIKA’s human resources department saves hours sorting
through papers. The points-based program gives
WIKA employees a fun, interactive experience, which
drives employees to work toward gifts of a greater point
value.At the same time, it encourages their co-workers,
which creates a more positive workplace environment.
The right workplace safety recognition program provides
customers with an end-to-end solution that encompasses
program design, implementation, and results
measurement. It eliminates the guesswork, inconsistencies,
and inefficiencies out of customers’ recognition
programs by seamlessly integrating within their systems
and databases, minimizing the burden of day-to-day
safety recognition management so executives and HR
departments can focus on their core competencies: creating
a more productive and profitable organization.
When it comes to spending on increased safety, the
ROI is pretty distinct; preventing permanent injury and
undue harm is a significant benefit. Investing in a recognition
program that serves to reinforce safety training
and fosters a self-motivated safety culture is a wise decision.
Companies will realize huge dividends by reducing
downtime, increasing equipment operating
time, decreasing worker’s compensation costs and legal
fees, and increasing service levels, customer satisfaction,
and client retention.
This article originally appeared in the June 2008 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.