It’s officially winter and holiday lights are springing up on buildings and trees in neighborhoods across America. Along with all of the joy associated with the season, there is also an element of stress. While many parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents search for the best prices for gifts on their recipients’ wish lists, the children who expect Santa to deliver the goods obsess whether they’ve landed on the naughty or nice list this year. Their goal; avoid the notorious lump of coal in their stocking.

However; if you are putting together a safety program for your organization, you most likely aren’t Santa Claus. Therefore punishments like coal shouldn’t be your choice for safety motivation. Employees shouldn’t be punished for being in an unsafe work environment, and they shouldn’t be punished for reporting issues or problems they see. If you punish people when an incident is reported, the number of incidents reported will go down, not the number of incidents, and OSHA agrees. Instead opt for a behavior-based safety program that supports a culture of safety. Involving everyone in your organization and creating diversity in award rules, like on-the-spot awards and team award help achieve a positive safety culture.

In addition to incentivizing positive behavior, use these actions to analyze your current culture to see what needs to change:

  • Do a “health check” of your organization’s safety performance and compare it to averages and trends for your industry
  • Examine your processes for identifying, reporting and mitigating hazards in the workplace
  • Evaluate your safety training curriculum, andReview your current safety policies and procedures and ensure compliance with regulations.

A culture of safety will naturally create a long “nice list” for your organization while still allowing workers to be safe and responsible.In addition to rewarding safe practices like reporting near-misses and proper procedure, incentivize participation in training, inspections and proactive safety attitude. In addition; a safety program that rewards instead of punishes and promotes a culture of safety will put you on OSHA’s “nice list” too.

And about those cookies…maybe it would be a good idea to opt for a wellness program instead. New Years is a perfect time to start those healthy habits for 2015.

As Sales Development Specialist, Brendan is focused on developing new client relationships and works closely with QIC's Sales, Marketing and Account Management teams. Brendan graduated from the University of Southern California in 2013 with a degree in Human Performance and Business. During his collegiate years Brendan raced on USC’s elite cycling team. Brendan enjoys doing almost anything outdoors, such as hiking, running and playing with his dog.

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