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Safety First! Incentivizing Safe Practices Through Recognition

“Safety first!” It’s a mantra we’ve heard since elementary school. Whether it’s donning protective eyewear, social distancing, or simply buckling a seatbelt, safety procedures can be found in many facets of daily life. However, when these procedures are not upheld, the consequences can be devastating. Rewarding employees who champion safety is vital to keeping it at the forefront of a company’s culture.

The Costs

According to a recent OSHA census, 4,764 people sustained fatal injuries while at work in 2020. The census goes on to note that the most dangerous jobs in 2020 could be found in the Transportation industry:
“Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event with 1,778 fatal injuries, accounting for 37.3 percent of all work-related fatalities.”
This macabre statistic may be a contributing factor to why the National Private Truck Council reported that driver turnover is higher than ever. Also not to be dismissed are the financial costs of commercial vehicle accidents. According to another OSHA report, the expenses associated with a commercial vehicle crash begin at an average of $16,500 and exceed over $500,000 if a fatality occurs. In fact, a truck accident that results in a fatality can easily cost the company 7 million dollars.

Recognition Requires Definition

Whether you’re in the Transportation industry or not, all companies can relate to the grave importance of safety. If employees are unsure of what the company’s safety standards are, creating a recognition program is a great way to define these goals. By rewarding good safety practices on a regular basis, more employees will be aware of the company’s specific values, what’s expected of them, and how they will be evaluated. Recognition programs demonstrate that a company appreciates the hard work, commitment, and attention to detail that is needed to keep everyone safe. For more on creating a recognition program, check out our other blogs like this one.

Engagement and Ownership

Here at Dion, we believe in lean business practices and each employee should have ownership of their operation. That is to say, each person is an expert at their daily tasks and should be consulted as such before making operational changes. This practice helps alleviate “top-down” decision making and makes for a much more enjoyable and healthy work environment. By recognizing employees for achieving safety goals, companies are celebrating and engaging employees as owners of their own operations. This helps motivate employees to keep their status as an achiever and an expert in their own right.

Keep it Positive

With the consequences of lax safety procedures being so dire, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of punishing bad behavior. While it’s necessary to sharpen up policies that have gone soft, it’s important to inject some positivity into a company’s safety culture. Otherwise, well-meaning managers can inspire feelings of resentment among their team. Creating a safety recognition program helps balance out this experience with a genuine show of appreciation.


As recognition experts for the past 50+ years, we love to create awards for safety recognition programs. Getting started is easy - simply call, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or live chat with us about your ideas!


By Aubrey Dion

Aubrey Dion is proud to be back working for the family business she grew up in. Over the years, she has performed a wide variety of jobs in both the office and factory, becoming a true "jack of all trades." Aubrey credits her quick learning ability to her strong theatre background, where memorization and attention to detail are vital. Working in the marketing department allows her to stay creative and work on exciting new projects for the company.