OSHA is warning employers to be careful about rewards programs that could unintentionally – or perhaps even intentionally – encourage employees not to report injuries.
In a recent communication, OSHA cited as an example a program in which employers created a prize-drawing for all employees who had not been injured in the previous year. Another example of a bad practice in OSHA’s view is giving a team of employees a bonus if no one from the group was injured in a given period of time.
So what can employers do to reward safety oriented behavior?
Here are examples of activities for which OSHA believes rewards are appropriate:
· Identifying hazards or participating in investigations of injuries, incidents or “near misses”
· Serving on safety and health committees
· Suggesting ways to strengthen safety and health
· Completing a company-wide safety and health training program
OSHA warns that failure to structure rewards programs in an appropriate way could result in violations of rules requiring an employer not to discriminate against an employee who exercises their right to report an injury. An improper rewards program could also lead to violations of recordkeeping rules, OSHA said.
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