Survey finds a third of employers prioritize productivity over safety

The National Safety Council released survey results showing 33% of the employees surveyed believe safety takes a backseat to productivity at their organizations.


The National Safety Council released survey results showing 33% of the 2,000 employees surveyed across the nation believe safety takes a backseat 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. These findings are particularly alarming because those industries are at the top when it comes to the number of occupational deaths each year.

"Every employee deserves a safe workplace," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "While some of our findings were encouraging, others were a stark reminder of how far we still have to go to ensure safety is every employer's highest priority."

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, slips, trips and falls, contact with objects or equipment and exposure to harmful substances.

Other 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
  • 70% of employees say safety training is part of their orientation and that employee health and well-being is promoted at work.

National Safety Council (NSC) 

- Edited from a National Safety Council press release by CFE Media. See more Control Engineering safety stories.



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