Safe workplaces should be rewarded. A low loss ratio is a crucial safety outcome, but businesses must also have safety initiatives in place to eliminate injuries and save lives. Missouri Employers Mutual created a Safety Dividend program that rewards policyholders for their forward-thinking mindset and celebrates their positive safety outcomes as a result.
A crucial step to earning a safety dividend lies within employee training and participation. Below are ten ways to motivate your employees to be involved and educated while also increasing your safety dividend.
1. Safety Programs
Having safety programs in place helps improve your safety culture while also increasing morale and productivity. After realizing their current, more traditional fall arrest system was impractical, Craftsmen Industries purchased a new innovative and mobile fall arrest system. By implementing the system, employees can focus on their jobs instead of fall risks. In addition to fall protection programs, other examples of safety programs may include:
- Personal protective equipment
- Defensive driving
2. Safety Rules
Keep a list of risky work-related activities or exposures that may lead to high-severity claims as well as safety rules that may prevent injuries related to those activities. Your employees should be familiar with and sign-off on these rules, but it’s your job to make sure they’re consistently enforced.
Analyze individual workspaces and operation areas for risks to determine where, why and how an employee is likely to become injured or ill. Examples include:
- Daily forklift inspections
- DOT pre-trip inspections
- Monthly facility inspections
4. New Hire Employee Safety Training*
There is a lot of information to learn and understand as new employees, and safety is an important aspect of the onboarding process. Review primary workplace hazards and present ways to avoid them within the first 30 days of employment and be sure to follow up after 60 and 180 days. Access our new hire toolkit here.
5. Ongoing Employee Safety Training
Ongoing safety training and education for current employees should address and prioritize significant hazards. Continued education often refreshes employees’ memory and informs them of shifts in technological processes and industrial trends. There is no one-size-fits-all training program, so it is important to investigate your procedures to determine where the problem areas lie.
6. Safety Committees
Improve employee and management safety buy-in through safety improvement projects, hazard correction and training. These committees encourage employees to communicate safety ideas or concerns, and they typically meet quarterly and keep meeting minutes.
7. Employee Engagement
Get creative to encourage employee participation and improve your safety programs. Examples of different types of activities to try throughout the year may include:
- Safety fairs
- Electronic safety communications, including social media, emails, text messages, suggestion boxes, posters and e-newsletters
- Safety drills or stand downs after a major incident to assess the situation
- Safety calendars
8. Job Hazard Analysis
Identify hazards before they occur by focusing on the relationship between your employee, task, tools and work environment. Ideally, after you identify uncontrolled hazards, you take steps to eliminate or reduce risks.
9. Near-Miss Analysis
Have a formal process in place in which near misses are recorded and investigated, regardless of whether an actual loss occurred. As part of the process, preventive measures are identified and communicated to employees to raise awareness and assist in the prevention of future incidents.
10. Use of Emerging Technologies*
Devices, such as telematics, can be used to collect and share data that aims to anticipate, recognize, evaluate or control at-risk behavior. Even older technologies, if applied in a new way, may have undeveloped potential to help your operation offset risk. For example, the Skweeky Kleen Windows team spends most of the day cleaning windows that are high off the ground. Luckily, they have prism glasses to keep their face forward while their focus is stories above. Watch the video to see a great example of technology in action.
Being proactive will not only minimize the direct costs of workplace injuries, but also the indirect costs, such as lost time, training replacement staff and lowered morale. Be sure to use documentation to keep track of what your business is doing to improve safety on a consistent basis and contact your agent or safety and risk consultant to determine the steps your business can take to achieve a full dividend. All MEM policyholders are eligible to earn a safety dividend. Click here to access MEM’s Safety Dividend Resource Kit with resources to help your workplace become more safe and cost efficient.
*These initiatives are worth more points (2) in the Safety Dividends program. Most initiatives are worth one (1) point.