Construction companies do not spend enough money on safety incentive programs. That's according to Greg Perricone, a safety specialist for Aon, a national construction-based insurance company in Pasadena, Calif. “If they take a small portion of what they are putting into capital projects and put it into safety, that has a greater dividend,” he says.

For example, if an employee receives a permanent partial disability while on the job, the workers' comp case could require the company to pay the employee 20% of their salary for 30 years. “That is a lot to pay for someone who does not work for you anymore,” Perricone says. Setting aside $5,000 for incentives that prevent costly injuries is worth the investment.

It may be difficult to get employees to embrace the program. To increase participation, create a short-duration program that is achievable and has tangible goals.

Short duration. An annual giveaway might make an impact at the time, but it is soon forgotten. A time span of one to three months offers the best results, because employees think of the goals on a daily basis.

Achievable. Employees will be discouraged if the goals you set for the incentive are difficult or impossible to achieve. If they believe they can't reach the goal, they will give up on the program.

Tangible goals. Employees must perceive the reward as valuable. For example, if your crew enjoys movies, offer a limited edition DVD movie package as a reward. Employees must want the reward enough to remind each other to use safe practices.