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July 27, 2016

NSC: One in Three US Workers Say Employers Prioritize Productivity Over Safety

Safety protects people Quality protects jobsThe National Safety Council has released survey results showing 33% of the 2,000 employees surveyed across the nation believe safety takes a back seat to productivity at their organizations. The percentage was even higher among employees in high-risk industries. Sixty percent of respondents in the construction industry, and 52% of those working in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, felt safety was less of a priority than finishing tasks. Those industries are first and second when it comes to the number of occupational deaths each year. 

The survey is based on the Council's Employer Perception Surveys. Other key survey findings include:
  • 49% of temporary and contract workers, and 41% of employees working in healthcare settings, said they were afraid to report safety issues.
  • 62% of construction workers, and those in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, believe management does only the minimum required by law to keep employees safe.
  • 61% of employees in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry say there is resistance to working safely among employees.
On the positive side, 70% of employees say safety training is part of their orientation and that employee health and well-being is promoted at work.
 The number of workplace deaths in 2014 was as high as it has been since 2008, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 4,800 workers died from incidents such as car crashes, contact with objects or equipment, exposure to harmful substances, and slips, trips and falls. 

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