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Maintaining Motivation – Safety Incentives Require Updates

All too often, a company buys a safety incentive game (generic safety bingo is a great example), puts it into place – and then a year later can’t figure out why it’s not providing any results.   First, such simple safety incentive approaches usually do little in the way of genuine loss control.   Instead, they’re a one size fits all approach that provides some game pieces and a set of rules.   After that, the users are on their own.

Effective employee motivation simply won’t work that way.   It’s like feeding the employees the same meal day in and day out, thinking they’ll remain interested in the food served.    Human psychology simply doesn’t work that way.

As a result, one of the essential elements of any safety incentive approach is that it be kept fresh and dynamic.   There must, from time to time, be introduced into the equation entirely new elements to keep employee focus.   Besides, why limit the fun when Safety Pays offers so many ways to divert from its usual formula.

Having a company picnic or year-end holiday party?   Our customers are offered our Grand Prize Game Round design.    Want to run a game round with as many as 10 or more bingo winners?   We provide an entire set of instructions and budget-conscious pay-outs.    Would you like to add absenteeism and tardiness to your Safety Pays game?   Let us show you a number of options how.

Safety Pays can be found in virtually every industrial and business sector, and there’s a huge reason why:  Its versatility.   The program is designed to be adaptable to any environment not to mention any loss control need.   That certainly includes the ability to change-up how Safety Pays is played depending on a company’s given needs.

There’s a reason that Safety Pays has been the nation’s safety incentive leader for nearly 3 decades; we provide much more than just a product but the customer service support to match.   That includes a regular flow up Program Upgrades ensuring Safety Pays will live on and on –and we have customers still using Safety Pays since the early 1990’s.

Safety continues to Pay 25 years later!

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Accident Investigations: Safety’s Best Teaching Mechanism

Every company has the same goal:  zero accidents.   However, for most, it remains strictly a goal since even under the best of circumstances with all safeguards in place, accident can occur. 

What’s crucial from the standpoint of turning a liability into an asset is a careful analysis of what took place in order for everyone to learn its lessons.    Only then is there the assurance that such an accident will never occur again.

There’s any number of key factors, but possibly the most important is a combination of urgency as well as thoroughness in the investigation itself.   This includes both examining physical causation as well as witness interviews.   Take photos as soon as possible.   Once the investigation is complete, a written report should communicate four essentials:

  • NARRATIVE: Contains the important facts of the investigation and its conclusions
  • OBSERVATIONS: States the facts bearing on the accident as observed
  • FINDINGS: Describes the causes of the accident and each cause’s relative contribution to it
  • RECOMMENDATIONS: Outline of actions to prevent a reoccurrence

From this document can be created the educational information the workforce thereafter needs to support whatever recommendations are made.   This may include improved hazard identification, additional safety training or any number of other layers of added protection.

A safety incentive program is designed to motivate workers to not only do the right thing, but help their co-workers join them in the effort.    However, motivation can only go so far without a constant flow if educational support with the information the workforce needs to continue to elevate workplace safety to zero accidents.

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Safety Incentives: The Gas That Powers A Company’s Safety Program

After OSHA issued new regulatory compliance standards in late 2016, many companies chose to stop using safety incentives altogether.    Uncertainty breeds fear and no one wants to invite unnecessary problems when it comes to ensuring all federal safety standards are met.

However, OSHA has been quite clear that safety incentive programs remain not only permissible, but properly utilized, are an appropriate tool to increase safety awareness in the workplace.

OSHA’s new injury reporting requirements underscore the requirement that safety incentives may not be injury based.   OSHA was further concerned about employee perceptions of retaliation whenever reporting an injury.   Therefore, OSHA insists that any safety incentive program be designed in such a way to ensure proper employee reporting of all injuries.

We agree.   A poorly designed set of safety incentives can and will lead to non-reporting of employee injuries.   However, without an accompanying safety incentive-driven strategy built-in to a company’s safety program, it’s unlikely to achieve full power that employee motivation provides.

Think about it this way:   Can you imagine living without the utilization of gasoline?

It’s inherently dangerous, yet most of us think nothing of sitting on top of an explosive bomb every day as we move about.   The reason gasoline use is a such non-issue is entirely due to the inherent safeguards with which gas is both delivered to the consumer and thereafter utilized.

OSHA has provided new and improved safeguards for the utilization of employee safety incentive programs.   However, it’s not because they think safety incentives are inherently dangerous.   The concern is due strictly to how safety incentives are applied; and rightly so.

OSHA knows that once an effectively designed safety incentive program with appropriate compliance safeguards is in place, a company can thereafter be assured of having the needed fuel to drive its safety program to ever greater loss control results.

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How Safety Incentives Support A Company’s Safety Program

With literally thousands of companies utilizing Safety Pays over the past 25+ years, we’ve encountered virtually every possible scenario as far as a company’s loss control needs. The one situation that concerns us most is when a business wants to implement safety incentives — but without first having created an effective safety program.

Safety Pays has a proven track record of motivational effectiveness for raising safety awareness. However, no matter how effective a set of safety incentives may appear, no company can sustain long-term safety awareness without the appropriate safety framework – a fully integrated safety program.

It’s that framework which articulates and supports a company’s safety policies & procedures. Further, it continually educates a company’s employees through further training, communication and safety enforcement.

Safety incentives are simply an added tool to motivate a given workforce to better adhere to the safety program in place.

An apt metaphor for the relationship between a safety incentives and a safety program is the same as exists between a car and the gas that powers it. A car has multiple components that have been carefully crafted together in order to get from here to there effectively, comfortably – and most importantly, safely.

A safety program is no different.

Plant inspections, appropriate utilization of safety equipment, continual education of best safe practices… there are dozens of elements an effective safety program requires. It is literally the delivery system that ensures any given workforce is able remain safe at all times and under any conditions.

Safety incentives are the gas that powers the car. They’re what transform a job requirement into an engaging process. Such a motivational element helps migrate an employee’s thought process from having to do something, to wanting to do it.

People simply pay better attention when there’s something in it for them while simultaneously being presented in an enjoyable way.

So a carefully designed safety incentive program is what literally powers the car up and helps it gain speed. Without that motivational gas, the car is unlikely to get very far.

HOWEVER… without the car – a fully integrated safety program – a company remains without any vehicle to utilize the energy source safety incentives are designed to provide.

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How Effective Safety Incentives Keep A Company’s Workforce Engaged

When Safety Pays was created in the late 1980’s, part of what made its safety incentive formula so unique was due to it being the brainchild of a former television writer.

After departing the entertainment business, he stepped into a Los Angeles based seafood distribution company that was struggling with its losses.

For the better part of a year, he pursued conventional strategies such as plant safety inspections, safety training, improved safety equipment, etc.).   However, his loss control results were rather disappointing, particular in driving down on at-fault incidents.

It was at that point that he realized he’d failed to reach his audience:  the Company’s workforce.   He then remembered the advice his former writing mentor had given him:

“The only purpose for television programming is to keep the audience’s attention between commercials.”

Naturally, that meant the writer had better leave the audience at the edge of their seats right before the commercial break.   After all, it’s the commercials that pay the bills.

He realized that was the missing link from his Company’s achieving elevated safety consciousness throughout the workplace.   He realized that he had successfully created some great commercials through the implementation of a comprehensive safety program.

The problem was that he’d failed to gain his employees full engagement and participation.   Without that crucial linkage, employee safety awareness could never be fully realized.

It therefore became his goal to find a way to motivate them.   He wanted his company’s employees to not just watch those safety program ‘commercials’, but to then become buyers of a committed safety culture; one where everyone has full participation.

Safety Pays’ innovative approach to safety incentives was the eventual result of that understanding.

LESSON LEARNED:  If you want people to pay attention, give them a reason to; and one they’ll enjoy.   As the saying goes in the seafood business, “You bait the hook to suit the fish!”   Only then can you reel ‘em in!

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The Safety Pays Challenge

Are you in the market for a safety incentive program?

If the lowest price is your guide, there are plenty of safety incentive games to choose from, many at a lower price point than Safety Pays.   However, you’ll quickly discover a ‘game’ is all you’ll be receiving.

That was the last thing on the mind of Safety Pays designer back in the late 1980’s.   What he was looking to create was a motivational safety program – integrating any number of loss control initiatives.

Yes… in order to create an entertaining approach to elevating safety awareness, a game strategy was utilized.   However, the ‘game’ dimension of Safety Pays is strictly the sizzle.

The meat of the program is how it drives a company’s safety program to ever greater success.   With a little investigation, you’ll readily see that what’s offered at our competitors’ various websites pales in comparison to what Safety Pays provides its customers.

Is there any other safety incentive offering that provides the multi-dimensional approach that can be found at   Compare the video introductions our website provides in helping viewers learn more.

Does any other safety incentive platform offer the kind of regular insight provide as found here?   Review the endless list of client letters and emails that speak to the level of incident reduction success Safety Pays has provided over the years.

Moreover, our program is not a one-size fits all.   We ensure our client companies are provided the ability to customize Safety Pays to whatever their specific needs are.   Safety Pays also includes on-going upgrade ideas in order to keep the program fresh and dynamic.

On top of all that, our customer service department is constantly providing ways to expand Safety Pays to other human resource needs such as housekeeping or attendance.

We therefore urge those interested in finding the best safety incentive program to Google ‘safety incentives’, ‘safety bingo’, or ‘safety incentive programs’.     Then ask yourself one of three questions with each website you review:

  1. Does it provide the essential elements an effective set of safety incentives require? Or is it just a bunch of game pieces assembled to look like a safety incentive system?
  2. Is the safety incentive vendor nothing more than a prize house requiring you to buy its product list as rewards (usually with an accompanying 100% mark-up)?
  3. OR… is what’s offered similar to Safety Pays: an integrated system that provides both long-term effectiveness as well as full OSHA compliance?

Once you accept the Safety Pays challenge, we’re confident you’ll discover what thousands of other companies have experienced for themselves.   There’s really no comparison whatsoever to the safety inventive approach Safety Pays provides.


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