Survey Points to Workers Assumptions About Safety

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Originally Published by: EHS Today — August 3, 2022
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Safety is not to be brushed aside, though workers often overlook proper protocols--and that comes with great risk of potential harm.

For the past three years, the annual Fluke Safety Survey has sought to identify trends in sentiment on a variety of workplace safety-related topics. 

The good news? About 56% of respondents agreed that they had ideas on how to make the industry a safer place to work. It's a reminder about a tenet of safety leadership: listen as well as ask. Everyone has a role to play when it comes to safety.

Tellingly, 95% of workers believe more can be done to make their workplaces safer. 

When asked about who is most responsible for workplace safety, 31% of respondents strongly agree or agree that safety lies with workers/yourself. Supervisors and managers and safety managers also ranked high while company leadership and HR department ranked low. The survey authors surmise that "[o]ne way to read this information is that there is mixed sentiment on who is most responsible, yet there is evidence that everyone plays some part in ensuring workplace safety."

Nearly all respondents (97.5%) strongly agree or agree that workplace safety is connected to a strong safety culture, but only 37% agree that most companies have one. Over the past three years, agreement about having a strong workplace culture has declined.

“Signs and verbiage are not a safety culture,” noted one 55-64-year-old respondent from Ohio.

Additional survey highlights include:

  • 78% believe electricians skip PPE sometimes because it’s inconvenient.
  • 72.3% of workers say they rely on tool technology to keep them safe.
  • 68% participate in regular safety trainings or classes.
  • 68.1%, the majority of respondents agree (strongly agree/agree) that they participate in safety training/classes.
  • 65% of electricians agree they use accurately rated test tools.
  • 56% of workers have ideas on how to make the industry safer.
  • 47% are unsure whether innovative technologies are keeping them safer.

The survey was conducted in February 2022. More than 900 people from 49 states plus the District of Columbia responded. Respondents ranged from ages 17 to 74 with a majority between 45 and 64 years of age. The top industries represented were manufacturing, HVAC and construction. A majority of respondents (72.5%) were employees of a company, though 11.3% were self-employed and 9.4% were contractors. 

Read more survey findings here.