Almost Half of U.S. Workers Feel Their Employer Is Not Prepared for a Terrorist Attack

Nov. 16, 2004
Almost half of U.S. workers say their place of work not is not prepared for a terrorist attack, according to a poll by ComPsych, a leader in employee assistance programs, behavioral health, work-life and crisis intervention services.

When asked if their employer is adequately prepared for a terrorist attack:

  • 49 percent said their employers have not communicated any special plans or procedures in case of an attack.
  • 27 percent said their employers are somewhat prepared. Employees were briefed some time ago, but respondents felt their employers could do more.
  • 15 percent said their employers have done a thorough job and have kept everyone updated on procedures.
  • 9 percent said it doesn't matter; they don't believe their companies will ever be affected.

"What is surprising is that employees are far from complacent about the repeated terror warnings," said Dr. Richard A. Chaifetz, chairman and CEO of ComPsych. "We are seeing low-level signs of worry and a sense of inertia. Employees feel there is little that can be done on a personal level with regard to the alerts, and there is confusion over what should be done on an organizational level.

"There is also a 'trickle-down' effect from the specific terror information regarding financial centers. With one-third of the U.S. population living and working in big cities, many likely consider their place of work to be a soft target."

Chaifetz said employers can defuse the tension of terror alerts by continuing to communicate security measures and emergency procedures and by being attentive to employee questions and concerns. "By reinforcing practical information such as how your building is being protected and who to call and where to go in case of an emergency, employers can help put their workers at ease," he said.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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