Paper Service Co., a small paper manufacturer with 97 employees in Hinsdale, N.H., has found that money makes people careful.

From 1976 to 1981, the company awarded a check for about $10 to each worker in a manufacturing department that had gone 60 days without an accident. Employees in less hazardous departments received equal checks after 90 accident-free days. With an average of fewer than five accidents a year, each year's awards totaled about $2,000 or $3,000.

For the past three years, the award money has simply been set aside by the employees for donation to community organizations, a gesture the company complements by matching dollar-for-dollar. Some of the recipients have included a local Girl Scout troop, which received six new tents; a Brownie troop, which was treated to dinner; and the town's peewee baseball teams, which received new uniforms. Comments personnel director Gary O'Neal: "Our employees started seeing beyond self-interest."