Twelve Companies Win Inaugural NPOY Awards

DALLAS, TX – Occupational Health & Safety magazine announced the winners of its 2009 New Product of the Year Award at the annual National Safety Council Congress and Expo in Orlando today. The Occupational Health & Safety New Product of the Year Award honors the outstanding product development achievements of health and safety manufacturers whose products are considered to be particularly noteworthy in their ability to improve workplace safety.

Forty entries were received in the inaugural year of this contest. Twelve winners were honored in 11 award categories:

  • Fall Protection – Miller Fall Protection, Twin TurboTM Fall Protection System
  • Hand Protection – MCR Safety, Professional Grade ForceFlex ZB100
  • Hazmat Safety – New Pig Corp., PIG® Vapor-Control Latching Drum Lid
  • Hearing Protection – E.A.R., Inc., HearPlugz-DFTM
  • Incentives – All Star Incentive Marketing Inc., PROPEL for SafetyTM
  • Industrial Hygiene – Mil-Ram Technology Inc., TA-2048MB; and, Industrial Scientific Corp., iNet Control
  • Online Training & Software – BullEx Digital Safety, BullEx GasTrainerTM
  • Protective Apparel – DRIFIRE, 12.1 Arc-Rated Woven Shirt
  • Respiratory Protection – TSI Inc., PORTACOUNT® PRO and PRO+
  • Signage & Identification – Quaker Chemical Corp., RapidShieldTM
  • Vision Protection – Jackson Safety, 370 Welding Helmet Headgear

The Occupational Health & Safety 2009 New Product of the Year Awards were independently judged by three industry experts: Bill Weems, Dr.Ph, CIH, University of Alabama College of Continuing Studies director of Environmental & Industrial Programs; Linda J. Sherrard, MS, CSP, safety director of a statewide agency and former OH&S technical editor; and Professor Joe Beck, Eastern Kentucky University Environment Health Department.

In addition to being honored at the National Safety Council Congress & Expo, the winners will be featured on the Occupational Health & Safety Web site, www.ohsonline.com, and highlighted in the December 2009 issue of Occupational Health & Safety magazine. The magazine is distributed to more than 80,000 subscribers monthly as well as at trade events including the National Safety Council Congress & Expo.

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In economic terms, the multiplier effect refers to the proportional increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of capital. In terms of Safety Reward Programs, the multiplier effect might refer to the ROI² (Return on Incentive Investment). A properly structured program significantly impacts overall employee engagement and safety culture, where employees are attuned to safety-related issues, inspired to display “Above & Beyond” safe behaviors, willing to be safety ambassadors, and encouraged to promote learning and support continuous improvement. Such best-in-class programs are designed to promote group objectives and reward individual behavior, engaging, motivating, and rewarding the people behind your success.
 

Fortunately, there are thousands of companies in high-risk industries that have excellent safety programming, training, and coaching in place. Many include safety in their list of core values and have invested heavily in EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) technology, training, telematics, and personnel. However, too many miss the opportunity to incentivize and recognize individual safety contributions, behaviors, and performance.
 

Programs featuring tangible and experiential awards as the reward currency can have a multiplying effect that pays dividends. Benefits include a more highly engaged workforce, fewer accidents and incidents, reduced claims and losses, lower turnover and absenteeism, better communication, increased productivity, visibility to leading and lagging indicators, incremental coaching and training opportunities, and improved profitability.
 

So, what’s the rub? Are engagement programs focused on employee safety, health, and wellness expensive to implement? Do they only make sense for companies with thousands of safety-sensitive workers? The answer to both questions is no. Properly structured programs can be cost-effective and right-sized for companies with as few as 100 safety-sensitive workers up to those with 10,000 or more. The ROI² of these programs can be expressed as a ratio (in this case, 4:1), with quantitative results showing a savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and qualitative results revealing higher employee morale, which serves as a catalyst for productivity. Safety Reward Programs help to mitigate risk, elevate employee engagement, and improve overall safety culture. They also present an excellent opportunity for companies to simply say thank you to their employees for being safe, committed, and engaged.
 

People have an inherent need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. Safety Reward Programs provide the stimulus and energy that encourage employees to perform at their best and achieve new heights.

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