29
Jul 2016
By

Rhode Island Workers Know That Employers Don’t Value Their Safety

Every worker deserves to be safe while on-the-job. Employers need to prioritize the creation of a safe work environment and must comply with all laws designed to protect their staff. From purchasing workers’ compensation insurance coverage in case of an injury to investing in safety equipment, employers have an obligation to ensure a basic minimum standard of safety is met when it comes to providing protection for workers.man-working-1238685

Most workers don’t believe their employers are doing enough to make job sites safe and to help prevent harm. Employers obviously need to do better, both to prevent against the risk of injury or death and to show workers that their safety matters.

Workers Don’t Believe Employers Care About Safety

Safety News Alert reported on a troubling survey showing that a significant percentage of workers do not think that their employer cares as much about safety as they do about productivity. The survey was conducted by National Safety Council who interviewed 2,000 workers across the United States. Of the employees who were surveyed, a total of 33 percent of workers overall said they thought their companies put a higher priority on maximizing productivity than on creating a safe work site.

The employees who work in some of the most dangerous professions were most likely to say that their employer cared more about production than about keeping workers safe. In particular, 60 percent of construction workers said production trumps safety and 52 percent of people who work in fishing, hunting, forestry, and agriculture said the same thing.

Construction and the fishing, hunting, and forestry industry are always near the top of the list of sectors with the highest rate of workplace deaths. Forestry, fishing and agriculture had the highest death rate this year.

The study had some additional troubling information, which should be cause for concern among all different sectors. For example:

  • A total of 49 percent of temporary workers or contract workers said they were worried about reporting safety issues.
  • 62 percent of employees in the construction sector believe that management does no more than the minimum mandated by law to try to maintain a safe environment.
  • 61 percent of the workers surveyed who had jobs in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, or hunting professions said that employees were actually expressing resistance to safety measures.

While all of this is bad news when it comes to an employee assessment of how safety issues are treated on their work site, 70 percent of all employees say that safety training is a part of orientation at the place where they work. The same percentage say safety matters when it comes to trying to get a promotion or when it comes to employee health and well-being programs.

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