In late 2016, OSHA announced new enhanced enforcement provisions. These included new measures a company must take to prevent any perception of retaliation for reporting an employee injury.
OSHA has specifically expressed concerns about safety incentives based on injury reporting. A major worry is that if the offered safety incentive is cancelled when an injury is reported, the employees may feel pressured not to report the injury at all.
We agree. A poorly designed program can and will result in the potential for such negative peer group pressure.
Of course an employee may be fearful of reporting an injury if doing so cancels a quarterly safety bonus… or results in cancelling the raffle of a big safety prize like a flat-screen TV – especially when the injury occurs later in the quarter. Safety incentives such as these unwittingly create an atmosphere where injuries may very well be driven underground.
So, we at Safety Pays fully support OSHA new injury reporting rule. In fact, in early 2017, we completely reformulated the Safety Pays motivational design to ensure full compliance with all of OSHA’s current safety incentive guidelines.
Today, Safety Pays success is based on one primary incentive goal: Strict adherence to a Company’s safety rules. Work safely and the incentive values continue to grow.
But if and when a safety infraction is committed the game’s jackpot is reduced but never cancelled. Instead, we take an approach to the incentives based on proportionality. All safety infractions reduce the jackpot with those resulting in harm -- in the form of property loss or injury – reducing the incentive value to its base. Near misses reduce the jackpot by half.
However… if a loss (injury or property damage) occurs that was not the result of a safety infraction, the jackpot remains unaffected.
We have long agreed with OSHA that an ‘all or nothing’ approach to employee incentives can easily result in demotivating an employee.
Our view is that the majority of the workforce is making best efforts at all times to work safely. So, our safety incentive approach always delivers the group incentive. It’s their measurement as to how successfully, they as a cohesive team, are working safely through the avoidance of all safety infractions.
So with Safety Pays, the incentives everyone is working hard to achieve are never cancelled. There’s always a reward. However, the size of that reward at any given time is a direct reflection of their ability to work within the rules of safety. But the reward is never allowed to grow too large. The game’s jackpot is capped at a reasonable level.
Each transgression impacts the jackpot based on either the degree of loss or potential for harm. What the workforce comes to quickly understand is that every safety infraction has an impact on the game, but one that is proportional rather than retaliatory.
Through utilization of the Safety Pays incentive approach, safety achievement is constantly being rewarded in a fun & positive way -- with safety enforcement being the key driver of the game’s motivational success.