New Survey Reveals Rise in Workplace Safety Concerns

Members of the workforce, especially those in industries that require manual labor, are becoming increasingly concerned about injury and fatality while on the job.

In honor of National Safety Month, surveyed 1,069 people to learn about their top safety concerns and explore their views on environmental health and safety issues. In fact, 39% of all respondents are more concerned with on-the-job safety this year than they were last year. 

According to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries(CFOI), workplace fatalities were up 11% in 2017 compared with just 5 years prior (4,628 in 2012 vs. 5,147 in 2017). Though some causes of fatality are declining, such as injuries by persons or animals, other causes are proving more dangerous, such as fatal falls. 

On-the-Job Safety Concerns Are Increasing Across the Board

It’s not only that 39% of all respondents are more concerned with on-the-job safety this year than they were last year. For many, these concerns are consistently present, with 25% of those surveyed reporting they’re worried on a daily basis about getting injured because of their job.

Workers in Construction and Oil and Gas More Likely to Fear for Their Lives on a Daily Basis

Safety concerns increase significantly for those in the construction and oil and gas industries. According to the survey, construction workers are 27% more likely than those in other industries to worry about getting injured because of their job on a daily basis. This makes sense, given that the CFOI showed one in five of all workplace fatalities occurred in the construction industry in 2017. In construction, accidents such as falls and unintentional contact with equipment were among the highest causes of death.

A construction industry site safety and health officer responded to our survey saying that, “After becoming a safety officer, I have become aware that the most important job site safety issue is preplanning, preparation, and training. Most companies send new workers into the field without proper safety training … . Planning for the overall job and the task at hand is often not done properly, and, if done, it is not communicated to the worker.”

Workers in the oil and gas industry are also more likely than those in other industries to worry about losing their lives because of their job on a daily basis (33% vs. 12%). In 2017, oil and gas extraction workplace fatalities increased 26% year-over-year, from 89 to 112. According to an investigation by The National Occupational Research Agenda, the rise in these accidents was caused by a combination of too heavy equipment, inexperienced workers, and harsh conditions.

Read the full story here.



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