Keep Employees Safe By Keeping Them Engaged - Safety
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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Keep Employees Safe By Keeping Them Engaged

By Randy Dombrowski

Article Date: 12-01-2010
Copyright(C) 2010 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

Create safety goals with measurement and motivation in mind.

With the conclusion of 2010 fast approaching, dealerships will look back at a year that offered many challenges. Poor economic conditions, employee layoffs, and flat growth all impacted dealerships in a variety of ways, forcing them to take a hard look at their future while others simply closed their doors. Due to personnel changes, low morale, and reduced department budgets, dealerships may find it difficult to manage their safety efforts moving forward into 2011. For these reasons, dealers need to be even more vigilant at controlling their overall costs, and one proven method to achieve this is formalizing safety goals that can have a positive impact on employees and your bottom line. Following are three focus areas to use while building your safety goals and maintaining a strong safety emphasis throughout the year.

Reducing Accidents
Reducing accidents should be your No. 1 safety goal every year. All accidents have direct and hidden costs that affect your profit margins. These costs can range from insurance deductibles and loss of employee services, to disruption of work flow and customer dissatisfaction. Therefore, it’s a good business practice to formulate a strategy to reduce your accident frequency by setting safety goals. One of the best tools for setting future goals is looking at accident data from the past and focusing your efforts to prevent future occurrences. Some key elements to consider:
  • Conducting a year-end review of accidents/injuries that occurred
  • Note if any trends have developed that relate to specific causes
  • Determine what corrective actions have been taken and their effectiveness
  • Review your accident reporting procedures
  • Hold employees accountable for unsafe work actions
Motivating Employees
Safety should always be emphasized to employees, and safe work practices need to be incorporated into the daily activities of the dealership. Unfortunately, safety training and goals can become redundant from year to year, and so employees may get bored and disinterested. Finding the correct approach for your dealership to help motivate employees and keep your safety goals fresh is difficult. You should consider trying several options to see what works best. Here are some methods to help motivate and keep safety a priority:
  • Implement a safety team or committee with a mixed group of employees
  • Rotate employee responsibilities on the team periodically
  • Post your safety goals for 2011 and review them with employees
  • Add a safety suggestion box
  • Recognize employees for their strong attitude toward safety
  • Have regular safety meetings and ask for employee input
  • Consider safety incentive programs if budget permits
Checking Progress
The most effective safety goals are fluid and may change as the year progresses. Setting concrete goals that may not be attainable for employees could cause morale to plummet, thereby negatively impacting their interest in safety. You should establish some initial goals at the beginning of 2011, but don’t be afraid to alter them if needed. Take an opportunity during the year to complete a safety goal progress report and discuss any related positives or negatives with employees. By keeping an open and ongoing safety discussion among employees, your dealership should be able to achieve your safety goals for 2011 and beyond.

This document is made available by Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively "SIAMCO") with the understanding that SIAMCO is not engaged in the practice of law, nor is it rendering legal advice. The information contained in this document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Legal obligations may vary by state and locality. No one should act on the information contained in this document without legal advice from competent and licensed local professionals. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT IS DISTRIBUTED BY SIAMCO "AS-IS", WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES. SIAMCO WILL HAVE NO LIABILITY TO ANY PERSON OR ENTITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY LOSSES OR DAMAGES CAUSED, OR ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN CAUSED, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY THIS DOCUMENT, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH CLAIM IS BASED ON CONTRACT, WARRANTY, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE AND FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AND DEATH) OR OTHER GROUNDS.

Randy Dombrowski is an Account Executive for Sentry Insurance – a provider of Property & Casualty coverages for the dealership industry. You can reach Randy at with any questions.
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