Recent Study Shows Employee Safety Programs Benefit All

by: Nichole Gunn July 20, 2011

There are a number of worker compensation claims every year and while circumstances for filing a claim include, slipping, falling, pulling, and pushing, the number one occurrence workers file claims for is lifting. The Aviation International News Online reported this and other information reamed from the results of a new study published by the United States Aviation Underwriters (USAU).

The study involved a 10 year period and over 1,300 claims were filed due to improper lifting techniques. The cost of each claim is $8,606, on average. Cumulatively, this results in over $11 million in worker compensation claims.

One strategy for employers to take advantage of to help lower business costs and foster employee safety is employee incentives. These incentives can be offered within the format of safety reward programs.

If this is a strategy your company is considering, there are number of factors to consider when initiating a safety incentive program. One important factor is the ‘now’ attitudes of workers. Taking the worker’s attitudes into account in regard to programs, demonstrates the commitment level of the employer. If an employee feels his company is committed to him and his personal safety, he will develop a high level of employee morale, which in turn will increase his performance level.

To attain this type of employee viewpoint of the company, employers should implement management and staff interactive meetings, held on a consistent basis. This will established the company as committed to the employees’ wellbeing and safety. The meetings should convey the company’s concern for the employees’ welfare and be clear that positive safety behaviors will be rewarded. This will help reinforce the employees’ perception of the company as committed to the employees.

In order for safety and wellness programs to be effective, employees must be engaged, be involved on a personal level. An easy way to set up this type of initiative is to use a points program. Employees should know that points will be accumulated for wearing protective gear, adhering to safety protocol, reporting accidents and injuries, and offering safety improvement suggestions. Employers can acknowledge employees who strive for safety success through a number of rewards, such as gift cards, paid time off,  corporate rewards, and public recognition.

Implementing employee safety programs that motivate employees will translate into a noteworthy reduction in workplace accidents and injuries. Less injuries result in reduced absenteeism, a reduction in lost productivity, and a reduction in insurance premiums.