How to Increase Employee Safety

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Employee safety is at the core of every company’s operations and a top priority for management. Even in work settings that aren’t typically considered hazardous, risks exist and it’s crucial to have proper occupational health and safety policies in place. Furthermore, it’s necessary for employees to adopt safe behaviours by respecting these guidelines – otherwise, all efforts are futile and remain words in manuals. A great way to make the staff accountable is to create an incentive program. By fostering a rewarding and positive culture surrounding safety, employers can increase the effects of their policies, and by default, protect their employees and reduce the costs and repercussions associated with work-related injuries.

The Ultimate Price

Almost a thousand people died on the job in 2017 in Canada and over 250,000 injured worker claims were made in the same year. Not only are many staff members suffering, but the costs of these injuries go far beyond the employees themselves. They are also costly for the employers, and the government often has to defray disability payments. They also disrupt the operations of a company, making it harder to schedule shifts and keep up with workloads, and putting an additional burden on others. From management to human resources and everyone in between, workplace accidents have a tremendous impact.

Getting Employees on Board – A Must!

In Canada, occupational health and safety are taken seriously and most workplaces have developed relevant policies. So why are there still so many work-related injuries? Proper training is obviously a must, otherwise, the knowledge isn’t shared adequately. Human error is also an undeniable factor. But employee buy-in, or lack thereof, is also at the center of the issue. Companies can implement all kinds of regulations, but they have to be applied to have an impact. For example, employers can mandate that safety equipment be used, but if employees decide not to use a harness while working on a construction project, the policy is ineffective.

The Solution

Developing a safety incentive program is a proven method to boost employee compliance. There are different ways to implement such programs and the choice will depend on many factors, such as industry type and workplace conditions. But the key is to offer rewards that employees actually want. It’s nearly impossible to influence behavioural changes if the prize isn’t valuable to the recipient. Gift cards are the reward that participants in employee safety programs prefer receiving the most, and are therefore an ideal incentive. They are also cost-effective as they can be purchased in lots with rebates and are extremely simple to manage.

More and more, governments reward safe employers with financial incentives as research shows that organized and systematic approaches increase worker participation, encourage ongoing improvements and help reduce workplace injuries and illness. Simply put, good practices save lives and money! Contact us and become a health and safety champion by implementing your own safety incentive program today. Your employees and their families will thank you.

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