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Health, Well-Being Come First

Effective Safety Incentive Programs Can Help Cut Spending

By Rick Dandes

How It All Works: Best Practices

Ideally, a program's rules and guidelines are designed around the existing corporate culture. The goals and objectives of the safety program should be defined, and thus, serve as measurable results.

From an administration standpoint, you have to factor in whether the participants are at a single, fixed location, are across multiple locations, or somewhere in between, such as the case with a transportation services organization. Access and adoption of Internet technology has become a serious consideration as well. Do your people have access to the Internet, and would they be comfortable with accessing their program online?

Safety programs are easy to implement and administer through technology-based solutions, Fina noted.

"For instance," he said, "something like a milestone achievement, such as going a certain number of years without an accident, can be handled through Lifestyles Inspiration, where the employee receives Michael C. Fina's signature Magic Box and a gift selection catalog. This can be ordered by phone or online."

A nomination program can be completely run online. At the Michael C. Fina Company, one solution lets managers or peers nominate employees they think are deserving of recognition. The nomination can be entered online, and once reviewed and approved the employee receives notification and can, again, select an appropriate gift of their choosing. An on-the-spot solution can be used for something like reporting an unsafe work situation. The employee can be rewarded with a "Great Job" card, which can be redeemed online.

A number of different initiatives can be combined and administered through a points program.

"We have a Total Vision Recognition platform," Fina said, "which is a points-based solution, whereby employees can earn points for different initiatives and save points for gift redemption."

Having different initiatives in a safety recognition program highlights all of the different ways employees can work to ensure that the workplace is a safer one, and rewards them for being responsible for their own safety and the safety of others.

A properly managed safety culture, noted Blabolil, is based on this basic principle: safety as an ethical responsibility, as part of a corporate culture and not a program.

Management, he said, has to be responsible. Employees must be trained to work safely, and in fact, safety should be a condition of employment.

Blabolil also recommended that safety programs be site-specific, with recurring audits of the workplace with prompt corrective action if deemed necessary. Always be flexible at any point during the life of the program. Does your safety plan need to be changed? Ask participants how they feel the program is doing as they are experiencing it. If they feel it's not working, what changes would they like to see made?

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