Employees in high-risk industries are choosing productivity over their own health and safety, according to survey results from the National Safety Council.
Of the 2,000 employees surveyed across the nation, 60 percent of those in the construction industry and 52 percent from agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, felt safety was less of a priority than finishing job-related tasks. Those particular industries are in the top two when it comes to the number of occupational deaths each year. Among all respondents, the number was 33 percent.
“Every employee deserves a safe workplace,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council in a press statement. “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 survey is based on the NSC’s Employer Perception Surveys.
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 key survey findings include:
- 49 percent of temporary and contract workers, and 41 percent of employees working in healthcare settings, said they were afraid to report safety issues.
- 62 percent 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 percent of employees in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting industry say there is resistance to working safely among employees.
- 70 percent of employees say safety training is part of their orientation and that employee health and well-being is promoted at work.