Safety games for the workplace

Written by tom ryan
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Safety games for the workplace
Promoting safety in the workplace doesn't have to be boring. (safety decal image by Greg Pickens from

Safety training is one of the most important components of maintaining a safe workplace. Because of the dangers of working with heavy machinery or kitchen equipment, for example, many businesses aim to prevent injury on the job by employing safety games. Safety games offer some form of incentive for employees to consciously prevent accidents, like a cash reward or prize. Theoretically, as a result, the number of work related injuries should decrease.

Safety Bingo

This game aims to remind workers about their obligation to safety and accident prevention on a daily basis. Safety Bingo begins with every employee receiving a card with a set of 25 numbers printed on it, just like in a regular bingo game. However, at the top of the card, instead of the letters "B-I-N-G-O," the letters spell out a safety-related message, like "B-S-A-F-E" or "S-A-FE-T-Y," though any five-letter combination would work. Each day a supervisor draws a card that contains a corresponding letter and number. Employees check their individual cards to see if they have the matching letter and number. This process of drawing one letter and number combination each day continues until an employee has five numbers in a row, either vertically, horizontally or diagonally. This player is the winner, and receives a predetermined prize---a gift token, cash prize or paid day off, for example. The game then begins again. However, if at any time an accident occurs in the workplace, the game must start all over again. This encourages employees to work as a team to maintain a safe work environment, since they each stand to lose something if an accident occurs.

Safety Jackpot

This game promotes adherence to safety standards by using scratch-off lottery cards. When a supervisor notices an employee going above and beyond the call of duty to maintain a safe workplace, the supervisor gives the employee a scratch-off lottery card. This could be an actual lottery card, like the ones sold in a convenience store. It also could be a specially designed scratch-off card that awards prizes unique to the company, such as a paid day off from work or a week of longer lunch breaks. This game also could be played by dividing employees into teams, where the team that demonstrates the best safety prevention each week gets the prize specified by the scratch-off ticket.

Safety Trivia

This game lends itself effectively to businesses training large groups of people at the same time, like during an orientation. The supervisor or trainer splits the employees into two teams, and sets up a Jeopardy-inspired trivia board on a wall. There should be six categories represented by columns of five questions about safety, and each question is displayed as a monetary amount. This set-up could be created using construction paper with dollar amounts written on one side and questions on the other. A piece of construction paper also could display the category above each column. Teams elect a leader. The first team, which could be determined by flipping a coin, selects a category and monetary amount from the trivia board. The first team leader to raise his hand gets to answer the question--with the input of fellow team members. If he answers correctly, the team gets to keep the card to represent the money adding up in their "bank." If not, the other team will have the opportunity to answer. You can play as many rounds as you like, and the team with the most money at the end of the game gets a prize.

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