Safety awards: a high-five program that changed a company

| June 27, 2013

Not all safety incentive programs need to be expensive or complicated. At Rocky Mountain Masonry, a daily high-five routine has helped educate and inspire workers, earning the company the 2013 Charles A. Cain Safety Award. The award was presented by the Utah’s Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) for innovative safety practices. The workers also meet for five minutes to talk about the upcoming day’s risks and activities. “They high-five and split off to accomplish the job at hand,” reports

Inspiration for high-five program came from an OSHA fine

The successful program began after OSHA imposed a fine on the company six years ago. “We sat down with OSHA [after the fine] and they told us they had noticed a pattern with most masons,” Rocky Mountain’s owner, Dan Wright explains. “OSHA encouraged me and my employees to create something that we could use as a reminder.”

Masons working on a building

Common safety violations at masonries include premature removal of formwork, failure to brace masonry walls, failure to support precast panels, inadvertent operation of equipment, and failure to guard reinforcing steel (image by Wyoming Jackrabbit).

Wright describes the daily safety meetings: “We go through and address five to ten particular problems. We also use the meeting as a neutral zone. When employees feel comfortable talking, safety issues get resolved.” The firm has also developed a safety module titled ‘Focus Four Hazard Training for Masonry Construction.’

Other 2013 safety awards: Check Ride!

Another company celebrated this year by the WCF for its safety practices is D&A McRae. The Utah shipping and trucking company, another winner of one of the twelve Charles A. Cain safety awards, was applauded for incorporating “check rides” into its safety program. D&A McRae also conducts extensive safety training to reduce workplace accidents.

Rod Conrad from D&A McRae states, “The goal is to get one of our driver trainers or a member of management to go out with a driver on an observation ride once a quarter. It’s just a check to make sure the driver hasn’t gotten complacent with the policies or procedures they should be following to make sure they come home safe every night because that’s the main goal.”

Accident Free Award Label

Rocky Mountain Masonry and D&A McRae have proven that workplace safety can be achieved with small, simple activities.

Safety programs like these can stabilize and significantly improve a company’s financial position. “Preventing workplace accidents and injuries, aside from being the right thing to do, can save companies thousands of dollars on their insurance premiums and keep companies functioning at full capacity,” says Ray Pickup, CEO and president of WCF.

Safety Award Pins

Reward your employees with safety pins

Besides small reminders, recognition and safety awards, simple high fives can effectively contribute to the safety of your workplace. Safety slogans can motivate employees to protect themselves throughout the day. Awards in the form of hard hat labels and safety buttons promote safe practices, encouraging employees to continue the trend.

Category: Construction, News, Safety Tips