Safety Issues


From original questioner:

Good afternoon

I own a cabinet shop with 3-designers, 2-cad people, a commercial estimator, a bookkeeper, a purchaser, a warehouse person, 2 installers and 10 cabinet builders. and finishers.
We implemented a safety council last year. It is a 3 person committee that has monthly safety meetings with the builders and reports to our insurance company.
Do any of you have incentive programs for safety as a group or as an individual? I believe there should be rewards for being safe. Do you have a point system or something similar to make employees accountable for unsafe behavior. Our safety council feels as though they get no respect from the shop people when they remind them to follow the safety procedures. We are starting to grow again and we need some procedures put in place as we go forward.
Thank you

From contributor Ga


Congratulations on the growth, and reaching out for advice. In a previous company, I was the Safety Administrator, with over 50 employees.

Safety is tough to administer as a policy. It really needs to be a mindset. You mention that the committee feels they get no respect from the workers? How many of the 3 work on the floor? With a company your size, I'd hope at least 2 of the 3 are from the shop floor. This way they can weigh in on the practicality of the decisions made. Nothing is worse than being told how to do something "Safe" by someone who hasn't done that job before.

As I said, Safety needs to be a mindset. I personally don't think it should be rewarded. The reward for being safe is going home to your loved ones without injury. In Reality, the employee has just as much to lose in an accident if not more than the company. That being said, if the committee makes a practical decision about safety, then it needs to be enforced from the top down. If they rule people need to wear their safety glasses at all times, then your company needs to have a written policy that spells out what happens for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd violations of this. Then it needs to be enforced regardless of who breaks it.

It is near impossible to change a company culture (safety included) without the direction and support of top management. it all starts and ends with you Tom.

From contributor ja

Safety is a requirement and inherent to a tradesman, it is to be expected, if not then the culprit is warned (if you want) and fired otherwise, unemployment does not let the Tail wag the Dog.

Knowingly allowing an unsafe employee or situation to continue once aware is begging for a disaster.