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Risk Management Bulletin


By October 1, 2009No Comments

Using contests that encourage employees to focus on safety in the workplace offers a great way for you to show your concern for workers while encouraging on-the-job behavior that leads to fewer accidents – and lower insurance rates. However, it can be challenging to “reach” employees who find safety messages dry, and those who already consider themselves safe workers.

One company invited all workers who did not report a job injury or illness to an annual banquet. The firm selected the name of one attendee, who received a check for $10,000! A construction contractor divided a pool of money and divided it among workers who did not report injuries. At other workplaces, incentives deemphasize cash prizes in favor of more symbolic tokens, such as a pizza lunch for team members who work six months without recordable injuries, time off for a safe work record, or award points that can be used in popular stores and restaurants.

Seth Marshall, president of Safety Pays (Cashiers, NC), a workplace safety incentives firm, took an off-the-shelf safety bingo game and kicked it up several notches. The game is played by a relatively small number of people, such as a work group, team, or division. At the start of a round, every player receives a bingo card, and one number is called per day. The jackpot is set at $25 when each new game begins, and grows by $1 a day until there’s a winner. The next game starts with the jackpot at the amount where the last game ended, with the prize increasing up to a limit set by management. However, if there’s a safety “incident” (as defined by the company using the game) the jackpot reverts to $25. “What’s going on here is that every day there’s a reason to think about safety because employees know they’ll be going to the bingo board,” says Marshall. The board, which reveals the day’s number, is located near an attractive display that features safety advisories on selected topics and other information.

The approximately 10,000 companies that have used Safety Pays have seen loss reductions of 50%, according to such metrics as injuries, dollars, and claims frequency.

For more information on implementing safety programs in your workplace, just get in touch with our risk management professionals.