How Safety Recognition Programs Benefit Your Organization
If your employees work in any capacity that takes them away from a desk and includes any sort of physical labor, driving, contact with substances, or use of machinery, safety should be a concern for your company. Even workers who spend a lot of time at computers can develop problems like carpal tunnel syndrome or eye strain if they do not take proper precautions. US businesses spend $60 billion per year on workers’ compensation costs for the most highly disabling injuries.
Implementing formal safety recognition programs can be an effective way of encouraging employees to adopt safe behaviors and avoid the costs associated with accidents and related injuries. The best practice for structuring a safety recognition program is to encourage reporting of “near misses,” or possible safety issues before they turn into accidents. Some examples include frayed wires, past-due inspections, a slippery floor, or lack of available protective gear. Many companies also reward for safety achievements, such as miles of safe driving completed or time passed without a safety incident. With these types of programs, companies have to be careful that they are not encouraging non-reporting of issues.
Here’s how a safety recognition program can benefit your company:
- Save lives: Apart from any cost or business considerations, observing proper safety procedures saves lives.
- Reinforce safe work as a priority and organizational value: Recognizing and rewarding employees for safe behavior sends the message that it’s a priority for your company, and that it should be one for them as well.
- Save money: Preventing accidents and injuries helps your company avoid dealing with unplanned absences, workers compensation payments, and other related healthcare costs. Repairing faulty equipment before it breaks can also save you from more expensive repairs or replacement.
- Educate: A recognition platform provides an easy way to disseminate safety information, administer quizzes, and ensure that everyone is up to date on the latest procedures.
- Increase employee engagement: When you show that you value your employees’ safety and that you take their input seriously, it increases their investment in contributing to a safe and productive work environment.