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How does the global provider of quality and safety services celebrate safety?

For more than 130 years, Intertek has been helping companies around the world improve their products and meet the highest standards of regulatory compliance. With a commitment to providing customers with confidence, creating a safe work environment is a core value for the company. Trust and personal responsibility, acting with integrity, honesty, and respect are also highly valued. 

But as you’re helping customers improve and certify—24 hours a day, often in hazardous conditions— how do you create an environment that rewards people who speak up? That switches the goal to reporting unsafe work conditions or near-misses, so they can be quickly resolved, prevented elsewhere, and ensure overall process improvement?

The challenge: Implement a flexible solution that recognizes safe behaviors and spotlights stories that lead to longer term safety milestones. Recognize people for owning safety for their locations, leading safety meetings, and taking active roles around safety initiatives. Engage front line employees to speak up and report any safety issues or concerns.


In 2013, management felt the need for greater connectivity between locations in terms of the types and frequencies of safety incidents. Leaders wanted a solution that incentivized people for safety catches, reporting issues, and calling out near-misses. Knowing O.C. Tanner was a leader in employee recognition, Intertek turned to their O.C. Tanner representative to help come up with the solution.

Since launch, Intertek has experienced 6,665 moments of recognition for safety.


In October of 2013, Intertek’s safety program, ‘SAFE’ was launched. Now, customized safety eCards let employees give shout-outs of thanks for speaking up. All employees at all levels can nominate and receive safety awards—access codes that can be redeemed for brand-name awards.

An email from senior leadership, posters, users guides, and communication tools were distributed to all branch managers to generate excitement for the launch. Monthly safety meetings at the branch level called out the new solution and were reinforced with individual meetings conducted during a road show.

After noticing the employees’ need to understand that they can recognize each other (recognition doesn’t just have to come from the manager), additional tools and training were rolled out. Soon, on-the-spot checkbooks with reward codes (that can be given peer-to-peer and manager-toemployee) will be available. Finally, branch displays of magnetic shadow frames and top-level symbolic awards will showcase this safety-focused culture.


  • With the significant increase in reporting of safety incidents from recordable cases to near misses, management is more aware of what is happening day-to-day. The sharing of safety incidents across all locations engages all levels of the organization and facilitates the sharing of best practices and solutions.
  • The solution is having a positive impact with clients as they see how leadership is engaged and that safety is a visible (and rewarded) priority.


  • Focusing time and effort on implementation is key.
  • Training in-person on how to use the system goes a long way.
  • Getting the behind-the-scenes data management dialed is critical, spending time up front ensuring HRIS system data is accurate makes a big difference.
  • Spending time meeting, talking to managers, getting them trained and equipped with all the tools (on and offline) ensures greater usage and success.

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