According to the most recent data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, private employers reported 2.8 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019. This represents a non-fatal injury and illness incidence rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.
The cost of these injuries is astounding with the average direct cost of a workplace injury varying greatly depending on the severity of the injury and the industry in which it occurs. According to the National Safety Council, the average direct cost of a non-fatal workplace injury was $41,000 in 2019.
The indirect costs of workplace injuries can also vary depending on a number of factors, such as lost productivity, training and replacement of injured workers, and damage to equipment and property. According to OSHA, indirect costs of workplace injuries can be up to 20 times higher than direct costs.
The indirect costs of workplace injuries can also include intangible costs such as damage to the company’s reputation, decreased employee morale, and potential legal costs.
The losses associated with these workplace injuries impact every industry, including the retail and food service industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the retail trade industry employed approximately 15.3 million people as of January 2022 while the food service industry employed approximately 10.3 million people as of 2021. With so much at stake and the potential for losses due to injuries so high, we were happy to take on the challenge from one of the top five quick-serve food service organizations in the world to help increase awareness of safety within their crew members across the U.S.
Take a very dry and boring topic (safety) and develop a refreshing program that delivers effective safety messaging in a fun and memorable way, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Understanding the challenge in front of our client was the key to making sure we were successful at our mission. We found the typical employee who fell was within the 18 to 24 year old age range. This demographic is used to high-impact, swift-moving and fun imagery. They are bombarded daily by thousands of images and advertisements outside of their work places. We had to come up with an effective campaign to reach them.
Current safety awareness programs consisted of OSHA-, insurance- and state-produced training materials, in addition to safety training videos and digital programs. These programs are presented to employees as infrequently as once per month or not at all and severely lack staying power. With only a brief encounter with these programs during a month, an employee would never remember what they watched or looked at a couple of days before, let alone over the span of 20 or 30 days.
Our research focused on the tactics used by major consumer product companies to grab the attention of this young and mobile employee base. Taking cues from the most successful advertising agencies in the world, we found the solution was all about great messaging and daily repetition of that messaging.
The result was the development of an employee awareness “advertising” program we dubbed the Off The Wall® Safety Awareness Program. This program had the flexibility and power to be customized to advertise safety, human resource, and customer service messages to employees throughout an organization with ease and low cost. Repetitive advertising of these messages each and every day was the key to the success of this program.
The development and roll out of the Off The Wall Safety Awareness Program was a huge success. Employees and corporate managers were abuzz with excitement over this fun and effective program. Our first program focused on slip and fall prevention. Since then, we have rolled out over 400 additional programs across the nation for some of the world’s leading retail and food service organizations. With client injury rates and costs dropping up to 40%, we know the development of this groundbreaking program has been a huge success.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses – 2019. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/osh_11052020.pdf
- National Safety Council. (2021). Injury Facts: Costs. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/costs/work-injury-costs/
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.). Safety and Health Management Systems: Get Started. https://www.osha.gov/safety-management-systems/get-started
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022). Employment Situation Summary. https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Employment in the Food Services and Drinking Places Industry. https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2021/article/employment-in-the-food-services-and-drinking-places-industry.htm