Now that OSHA is keeping an eye out for incentive programs that discourage workers from reporting injuries, what can you do to encourage safe practices?
When SafetyNewsAlert.com reported on the OSHA recordkeeping inspection program, readers responded with their best safety incentive ideas that don’t discourage injury reporting:
- Bill B.: True safety incentives are a positive reinforcement of the safety culture. We have set up a program for “on the spot” recognition for above and beyond safety actions. Seems to be working on our construction site with 20 contractors and over 70 workers.
- Dave B.: Supervisors should reward safe practices like wearing PPE, reporting hazards or developing safe solutions. When the employees wearing proper PPE and following safety procedures get all the free stuff, it doesn’t take long for the other employees to join in.
- Safety Sam: I developed a plan to base incentives on employee participation instead of simply not getting hurt. I made a list of things that I wanted to get done, and then presented that to the employee safety committee with the mandate to base getting the incentives on getting this stuff done. It was hugely successful and took away any edge that OSHA might have had in using our incentive plan against us. (Sam is at an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program site.)
- Tim H.: (1) Base the incentive on behavior (individual and collective) not injury reports, and (2) Structure a supervisor’s performance review so that a failure to make a required injury report is a negative.
- Alex: (Our plan is) based on proactive activities reported to and recorded and audited by the safety department. Measurements include number of near-misses reported, job/task observations, area inspections, safety team meetings, completion of compliance and awareness training, and monthly safety topics.
Even more comments had this general theme: Reward positive safety behavior, not a lack of injuries.
You can take our Quick Poll on safety incentive programs on our home page.