Do safety incentive programs keep workers out of the hospital?

Or should the programs be put in an ambulance and rushed to rehab?

Or abolished?

We’ve been keeping up with the accumulating criticism of these programs—programs that put cash or groceries or raffle tickets into the hands of workers or crews with good lost-time injury records.


The U.S. Labor Dept. and other federal agencies are now officially skeptical of safety incentive programs. I personally understand how all forms of short-term bonuses and compensation, whether they are executive pay or college student grades, can corrupt or undermine deeper-seated, long-range goals.


The question may revolve around whether you are chasing the prize, hiding accidents or near-accidents and after the Thanksgiving turkey’s in the freezer you forget all that stuff about confined spaces and lock-out, tag-out and tie-offs.


Our correspondent Bruce Buckley is preparing a story on this subject and while he has seen how such programs can go awry he also reports that there are compelling statistics showing such programs work.


Do they? Please tell us.