Episode Summary

On today’s episode, we discuss whether we should give prizes for safety.

Episode Notes

To frame our discussion, we use the papers. Motivating the Workforce and The Demotivating Effect (and Unintended Message) of Awards. Tune in to hear our discussion about whether prizes encourage further safety or are just a silly pat-on-the-back.


  • Are prizes a marketing exercise or encouraging actual safety?
  • What is the motivation behind your organization’s awards for safety?
  • Behavioral economics
  • Industries that often have safety awards.
  • When celebrating safety takes away from practicing safety.
  • Can attendance awards motivate students?
  • The signaling effect.


“It’s definitely the case that some of these site visits are almost like information exchange…”

“Some of our brightest researchers got diverted from research to prepare the awards nominations, to show how good the department was at gender equity.”

“In this second study, they were testing specifically this idea that the award tells people what the school expects of them.”


Tait, R., & Walker, D. (2000). Motivating the workforce: the value of external health and safety awardsJournal of Safety Research31(4), 243-251.

Robinson, C. D., Gallus, J., Lee, M. G., & Rogers, T. (2019). The demotivating effect (and unintended message) of awardsOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.