How to use recognition and rewards to improve health and safety

SafetyInTheWorkplaceHealth and Safety can be a contentious issue, but one that is present in organisations worldwide. According to Health and Safety Executive data, an estimated 28,234 million days were lost from self-reported work-related illness and injury in the workplace last year, costing the economy an astonishing £14.2 billion.

However, it is possible to improve health and safety awareness within your organisation. One of the simplest techniques is to encourage best practice in the workplace by implementing a health and safety award scheme.

 

Download our guide to health and safety recognition

Download our guide to Health and Safety Awards

Gain a more detailed understanding of how reward and recognition techniques can be utilised to build a safe working environment.

Download guide

 

Why is recognition needed for health and safety?

A health and safety award scheme is a system that allows for a two-way dialogue of open communication and feedback, while recognising the contributions of employees. Using recognition to encourage health and safety best practice in the workplace is a powerful means to promote good health and safety on-site.

It can:

  • Improve the loss time injury rate
  • Improve the total case incident rate
  • Encourage reporting and logging of near miss accidents
  • Help H&S Managers improve communication on the need to be vigilant
  • Engage site managers and employees in H&S

 

You don’t have to blow the budget on expensive health and safety awards

There are many incentives you can use to improve health and safety. For example:

  • Gift vouchers and gift cards mean that employees can treat themselves.
  • Voucher Cheques enable managers to make on-the-spot awards.
  • Points-based schemes enable employees can redeem their points for gift cards, merchandise or prepaid cards.
  • eCards and social recognition enable employees to highlight the efforts of their colleagues immediately.

 

Other important points to consider

health and safety at workAs with all recognition and reward programmes, the devil is in the detail. You need to consider what impact the type of health and safety reward scheme will have on your employees. For example, a raffle where several people have been observed complying with health and safety but only one gets a reward could be demotivating for the others.

Managers can’t be everywhere or see everything that goes on on-site so consider allowing employees to nominate their co-workers for safe behaviours. A peer to peer recognition scheme will also stop employees focusing on health and safety only when their manager is around and help embed constant vigilance into the workplace culture – making it part of your employees’ and sub-contractors’ daily routine.

Careful consideration needs to be given to the goals and targets set for health and safety improvements. Whether you set targets for individuals for teams all employees must believe that they are achievable and fair, and they need to understand what they need to do to achieve those goals.

It is also important to consider whom you will reward. Ideally your recognition and reward scheme will include a mix of individual and team rewards, and it should include sub-contractors as well as employees.

 

Always give feedback

Providing employees with health and safety updates and progress against goals maintains interest and participation in the awards scheme. Use communication tools that suit your workforce demographics and the physical locations of employees, such as posters, newsletters, site briefings and team meetings, to publically highlight the actions of the winners and thank them for their efforts.

 

Our top 5 tips for getting started

  1. Get a clear overview of your organisation. Ask questions, send surveys, hold forums, and gain a good range of data to identify your problem areas.
  2. Choose a platform to educate employees and get manager buy-in to help promote the programme.
  3. Choose the right communication channel(s) to suit your workforce demographics.
  4. Recognise proactive employees and reward them publically for their efforts.
  5. Record results and re-evaluate goals and targets regularly.

 

Download our guide to health and safety recognition

Download our guide to Health and Safety Awards

Gain a more detailed understanding of how reward and recognition techniques can be utilised to build a safe working environment.

Download guide

 

 

 

John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
Connect with John on  | Twitter

 

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