The National Safety Council (“NSC”) conducted a survey of 2,000 employees across the United States regarding safety in the workplace. It found that one-third of those surveyed thought that their employer was more concerned about productivity than safety.
For high-risk jobs like construction, agriculture or forestry, those numbers were even higher. Sixty percent of those in the construction industry thought that safety was less of a priority when compared to finishing tasks. Fifty-two percent of those working in agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing reached the same conclusion about their employers.
Because construction and agriculture-related fields are first and second respectively for occupational deaths per year, this disregard for safety is particularly concerning. More than 4,800 works were killed in work-related accidents in 2014. That is the highest this number has been since 2008.
Safety Perceptions at Work
The NSC survey also collected other employee-held perceptions about safety in the workplace. Although roughly 70 percent of those surveyed indicated that safety training is part of their orientation, many employees in the most dangerous fields thought that their employers were only doing the minimum required by law to ensure safety in the workplace. They even indicated some resistance among employees to work safely.
Perhaps the most concerning sentiment the NSC found, however, was that nearly half of temporary and contract workers indicated that they were afraid to report safety issues. Roughly 41 percent of those in the healthcare industry also echoed this concern.
Work injuries affect a staggering number of people every year in the United States. Safety should be a priority for all employers, particularly in those industries that see the most workplace accidents. The NSC notes that this survey’s results show how far employers and agencies like NSC still have to go to encourage safety in the workplace.
If you have been injured at work, you may have a workers’ compensation claim. Find out more about getting the full amount of compensation you deserve by speaking with one of our skilled workers’ compensation lawyers.