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Workers feel employers value productivity over safety


Despite most workers reporting that safety is a priority at work, about one-third believe their employers value productivity over safety, according to a new survey by the National Safety Council.

Many workers, especially those in high-risk industries like construction, reported that “safety takes a back seat to completing job tasks,” according to a survey on employee perceptions of workplace safety released Monday by the Itasca, Illinois-based organization.

Responses ranged from 21% in the educational services industry and 22% in retail trade to 52% in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and 60% in construction, the survey found.

About 2,000 workers, all of whom are 18 or older and work for employers with 30 or more employees, participated in the survey, the National Safety Council said in a statement. Interviews were conducted between May 10 and May 24.

Most workers, however, said “safety is a priority at my workplace,” ranging from 65% in the information industry to 87% in construction, according to the survey. And 70% of workers said safety training is part of every new employee’s orientation and that employee health and wellness is promoted at work.

“Every employee deserves a safe workplace,” National Safety Council President and CEO Deborah A.P. Hersman said in the 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.”

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