Strategies to Improve Workplace Safety

Safety Training

Utilizing marketing strategies to improve workplace safety is a concept that has been researched by scientists and employment agencies to determine how best to avoid injury on work sites.

Workplace Injuries

It is no secret that workplace injuries result in the loss of time and compensation for both workers and employers, not to mention that it severely diminishes the quality of life of those who are injured. Yet workplace injuries remain common. Tens of thousands of Americans are injured every year in the workplace, and many of these injuries could be easily avoided by following proper safety protocols.

Marketing strategies that reinforce proper behavior in the workplace have been proposed as a possible way to curb on-the-job injuries, by attempting to alter the mindset of laborers to cause them to adopt proper safety protocols. Although results of the studies have been mixed, the findings have generally concluded that marketing strategies can play a role in workplace safety.

What Are Marketing Strategies to Improve Workplace Safety

Marketing strategies attempt to influence the behavior of a group of people by demonstrating to them the benefit of acting in a certain way. In the case of workplace safety, the consumer of such information is considered to be the employed individual, with the employer acting as the marketer. Employers and organizations use marketing strategies-any information disseminated to the employee explaining the importance of workplace safety procedures-in order to demonstrate the benefit of proper protocol.

In essence, these marketing strategies are expected to curb instances of workplace injury across the board. Such marketing strategies have been used in high-risk lines of work, such as coal mining, where a portion of experienced workers is being rapidly replaced by young and largely untrained employees. Many different types of marketing strategies, from videos and online advertising to pamphlets and workbooks, are currently being utilized by employers. These marketing strategies to improve workplace safety are usually somewhat successful.

How Does it Work

When an employer utilizes marketing strategies to improve workplace safety, the employer usually offers some kind of reward in exchange for appropriate safety behavior. For example, a video might reinforce that safety on the job results in a better work environment for all employees. Thus, the reward for safe behavior is simply a safe work environment.

Many companies offer additional incentives as well. If the workplace is injury-free for a certain time, the employees are rewarded. Some employers even offer a cash bonus for staying safe. These incentives provide a reason for people to use the appropriate equipment, follow safety procedures, and take a little extra time to ensure that they are carrying out tasks properly.

On the other hand, many employees dislike the amount of time and effort needed to engage in proper safety protocol, making reinforcement necessary throughout the employee's career.

Findings

Many different types of marketing strategies have been shown to improve workplace safety. Websites, videos, and instructional materials have all been rather effective. Results have shown that positive reinforcement techniques, including using marketing strategies to demonstrate the benefits of workplace safety, work much better than techniques that reinforce the consequences of safety on the job. One of the most crucial findings of these studies was that young workers are far more likely to adopt the suggested strategies if they are presented using technology they are familiar with.

Unfortunately, brochures and handbooks do not work as well as they used to. Computer-based work modules and social marketing techniques have been demonstrated to be among the most effective marketing techniques that improve safety in the workplace.

In today's culture, media is an extremely important part of effective communication, especially between young people who consider the higher-ups in the workforce to be out of touch. The employers may often misunderstand what communication means in today's society. This trend is true in safety marketing materials as well.

Effectiveness

Ultimately, marketing strategies aimed at workplace safety have plenty of room for improvement, and innovation in the way information is delivered and understood may be the key to lowering workplace injury rates in the future.

Strategies to Improve Workplace Safety