We consider it to be normal when work is carried out safely, but when accidents occur, something has failed somewhere in the system. An investigation is underway to prevent this 'failure' from happening again. But how do we value the efforts of people and teams who know how to prevent accidents in a safety-conscious way?
Rewards normally occur for productive results, but safe work is 'normal'. But I'm going to say it is not 'normal'. That requires knowledge, an attitude, cooperation, experience, and excellent communication skills. That should be valued just as much as production results.
We know that 'coincidence' is a crucial factor for accidents, but we also know that preventive work prevents a lot of misery. But don't show up with LTC/MTC "performance" because it has long been outdated that these (lagging) indicators are only partly the result of preventive efforts.
Toss that horrible sign at the gate stating x days without accidents into the garbage can.
The answer can be found in intrinsic motivation, 'Safety from Within'. Make
sure that people have autonomy to do their work, that their work is meaningful, that they master their skills, and that they are involved in the organization and its activities. These four aspects: autonomy, mastery, meaning and involvement mean so much more than holding up a carrot.
But regular sincere recognition of their preventive commitment to safety certainly helps to maintain and develop the attitude and mindset.
And, for those who still doubt it: many studies have already shown and many companies have proven it: in addition to preventing human drama, safety is good for business!