Balancing safety with productivity is a common dilemma that organizations, or at least their workers, struggle with. High expectations and bonus salaries in mind, many employees end up working in a non-compliant environment where risks are heightened. Although employees should never compromise their safety on the job, it is still the unfortunate case that safety takes second place. Every year, nearly 5000 workers are killed on the job in the United States, with slips, trips and falls being responsible for 38.8% (2015) of these fatalities. Consequently, the number one violation of OSHA standards in 2016 was “Fall protection”. Taking preventative safety measures is crucial in combating incident rates, but some companies still lack the motivation to enforce them.
It is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that safety standards are met and that workers are not endangered. Furthermore, if safety is compromised due to cost efficiency, then it is worth mentioning that the average cost of a workplace injury is around around $50,000 in today’s money ($38,000 in 2005, according to NSC). This sum accounts for wages, productivity loss and medical expenses – meaning any OSHA violation fines are additional.
With the aim to understand the safety perceptions of U.S. workers, the National Safety Council conducted a survey in spring 2017. Two thousand full time/part time US workers participated. The results of the survey reveal that too many workers do not feel safe, or feel that their employer is not doing enough to guarantee their safety. With this infographic, we wanted to highlight some of the most pertinent numbers from the survey, and encourage organizations to address these issues. The published survey by NSC can be accessed here.
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