Dangerous Companies: Safety Bingo

While celebrating Worker Memorial Day, our eye was caught by the mention of Safety Bingo Inc as being one of the top twelve most dangerous companies. At first glance, we assume it was one of those psyop-like games the therapist use to make us play i.e. “Johnny steals your apple. Do you a) punch him b) yell at him c) cry d) tell a teacher?” And guess what, answer D lets you move forward four spaces in the game, whereas answer D in real life gets your ass kicked.

Childhood trauma aside, Safety Bingo plays a far more dangerous game, find out why after the jump…

According to several trade unions and safety journals, their business model is manufacturing games that purport to teach workplace safety while actually discouraging reporting workplace injuries.

From the Confined Spaces blog:

    “In a Massachusetts workplace last year, a worker was caught in an unguarded machine and crushed to death. Minor injuries that had occurred on that machine weren’t being reported because the plant utilized both a safety bingo game that rewarded workers for not reporting injuries and a post-injury drug testing policy that mandated drug testing for all workers who reported injuries. If those minor injuries had been reported, the lack of machine guarding could have been identified and corrected. Instead, the hazard was never identified, and a fatality resulted.”

And consider this quote from BillSims.com, sellers of one such a safety bingo game, “You’ve painted all the yellow lines and bought all the safety equipment. But Injuries still happen. According to Dupont, 98% of these occur due to employee failure to follow established safety rules.”

Blaming injuries in the workplace on employee ignorance is wrong. It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe workplace, not to incentives under-reporting of accidents.

If you hear about a company that uses this program or one similar, that may be a company to boycott.


Edit Your Comment

  1. AcidReign says:

    …..My company has a safety-award program like that. If someone gets hurt, they are disqualified, and the top prize that month is gone. And reported accidents do initiate a drug test. Many companies have decided that employee drug use costs the company money, in accidents and increased medical premium costs.

    …..But, the entry form everyone fills out to be in the lottery has a space to write down safety issues. And there’s no penalty for doing so. If someone writes something in that space, it will be investigated…

  2. No-more-at-Irwin says:

    Are you willing to see your family doctor instead of reporting a workplace accident for the chance to win a plasma tv? At our workplace we are being subjected to constant mental battering if we do not tell the Geral Manager that we believe every accident is preventable. the company is being very creative in promoting ways to not report injuries while they seduce the employees with safety bingo. An extreme safety hazard was reported several times in 2000-2001-2002 at a certain building….In September 2006, an employee fell into the reported hazard, broke his back and is paralyzed from the waist down. Wonder what this weeks bingo numbers are?