five people watching one person in grey suit talk in industrial plant

More Than 80 Percent of Employees Think Their Physical Safety is Important, New Report Shows

The report, The State of Employee Safety in 2023, also looks at different aspects of worker health and safety, including mental health and emergencies.

A new report provides insights into employee thoughts on safety in the workplace.

The report, The State of Employee Safety in 2023, from Alert Media looks at data from more than 2,000 surveyed workers, all of whom are employed full-time and work in the U.S. It covers a multitude of topics relating to worker health and safety, including physical health, mental health and wellbeing and work emergencies.

Physical and Mental Health

More than four in five respondents (81 percent) said their physical safety is important, according to the report. That’s more than the percentage of people who found productivity (65 percent) and level of satisfaction at work important (65 percent).

But not as many respondents think their employer finds physical safety important—only 58 percent reported this, and only 49 percent said their employer finds the level of satisfaction with work important. Instead, 79 percent said their employer values productivity.

Moreover, when asked about the importance of mental health, 77 percent said their mental health is “extremely important,” but only 45 percent believe their employer thinks this as well. 

Work Emergencies

The report also found that almost half of the respondents “think the world is more dangerous today than it was previously.” Employees were most concerned that public health emergencies (45 percent), workplace violence (34 percent) and technology failure (29 percent) would occur at work.

When it comes to preparing for emergencies, training is of the utmost importance. Those who receive training more frequently (“once every month or two” compared to “once per year” or “never”) said they “feel more prepared.” Even if training only occurred once every year, more employees felt prepared than those who received no training.

Is there anything employers can do to demonstrate that they care about the overall safety of their employees? Luckily, yes. Per the report:

  • Thirty-five percent of respondents said employers can “improve communication about safety plans and policies.”
  • Thirty-one percent said their employer can “be more transparent about workplace incidents.”
  • Thirty percent said “provid[ing] more or better safety training, drills, and rehearsals” would show that employers care.

“Employees everywhere have experienced multiple crises over the past few years that have altered their view of the world and their perceptions of safety outside of the comfort of their homes,” said Christopher Kenessey, CEO at AlertMedia, in a press release.

“These events impact how employees show up to work daily, and we’re seeing a growing desire among workers for employers to implement a more integrated and hands-on approach to ensuring their safety, regardless of whether they’re working in the office, from home, in the field, or while traveling for business,” Kenessey continued.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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