Navigation Links
Workers rate safety most important workplace issue in new Labor Day study

More than eight of ten workers 85 percent rate workplace safety first in importance among labor standards, even ahead of family and maternity leave, minimum wage, paid sick days, overtime pay and the right to join a union, according to a new study from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The study, "Public Attitudes Towards and Experiences with Workplace Safety," draws on dozens of surveys and polls conducted from 2001 to 2010 by NORC. This meta-analysis sought to gain a picture of Americans' experiences with workplace safety issues. The study was done for the Public Welfare Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., which includes a workers' rights program.

Despite widespread public concern about workplace safety, the study also found that the media and the public tend to pay closest attention to safety issues when disastrous workplace accidents occur. Even during those tragedies, the fate of workers is often overlooked, such as during the recent oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Workplace safety is too often ignored or accidents taken for granted," said Tom W. Smith, director of NORC's General Social Survey (GSS). "It is striking that coverage in the media and public opinion polls have virtually ignored the 11 workers killed by the blowout and destruction of the drilling platform."

Questions instead focused on the environmental impact of the disaster and overlooked worker safety, Smith pointed out. But he noted that "if optimal safety had been maintained, not only would the lives of the 11 workers been saved, but the whole environmental disaster would have been averted."

Robert Shull, program officer for workers' rights at the Public Welfare Foundation, said, "Workplace safety should be a constant concern. Given the importance that workers themselves place on this issue, we should not have to mourn the loss of people on the job before government and employers take more effective measures to ensure that employees can go home safely after work."

On Aug. 19, the U.S. Department of Labor reported in a preliminary count that the number of workers who died on the job in 2009 fell 17 percent from the previous year, as workers clocked in for fewer hours because of the recession. While Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis called the results "encouraging," she also noted that "no job is a good job unless it is also safe."

Despite a decrease in workplace fatalities, the study found that reports of workplace injuries remained high.

Although most workers say they are satisfied with safety conditions at work, they also report job-related stress, a contributing factor to injury. The most recent GSS study on job-related stress, done in 2006, reported that 13 percent of workers find their jobs always stressful, while 21 percent find their jobs often stressful.

"Exhaustion, dangerous working conditions and other negative experiences at work are reported by many workers," Smith said. "Such conditions mean that workplace accidents are far from rare."

The study done for the Public Welfare Foundation found that about 12 percent of workers reported an on-the-job injury during the past year, and 37 percent said they have required medical treatment at one time for a workplace injury.

"Unsafe working conditions end up costing the public dearly," added Shull. "But no matter what the cost to the general public, the workers and their families pay the highest price."


Contact: William Harms
University of Chicago

Related medicine news :

1. 2002 Oil Spill May Shed Light on Health Problems for Deepwater Workers
2. Street outreach workers an important tool for violence prevention and intervention
3. Telemedicine for maintaining health of oil rig workers is explored in Telemedicine and e-Health
4. Study describes health effects of occupational exposures in Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant workers
5. HCL International: Australia a Favourite Destination for UK Social Workers and GPs
6. Knowledge workers divulge trade secrets at Global Intelligence Forum
7. Progressive Medical Releases 2010 Workers' Compensation Drug Spend Analysis
8. Gulf Oil Spill Workers Report Health Problems
9. Lost Sense of Smell Noted Among Ground Zero Workers Post-9/11
10. Long-lasting sensory loss in WTC workers
11. Caffeine Helps Shift Workers Avoid Mistakes
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... According ... carried out by the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested ... hospitalizations for head injuries. The article explains that part of the reason for the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... safe and convenient way to dispense prescription medications at home, so he invented ... way to monitor and dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could help ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion is a ... X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an informative sidebar to ... title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and text with ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking ... is an interesting show that delves into an array of issues that are presently ... could benefit from open dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The men and women on ... organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment to their ... healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. , Becker's ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 --> ... to use SyMRI to find optimal contrast weighting of MRI ... metastases, and has signed a research agreement with SyntheticMR in ... hospital. Using SyMRI, it is possible to generate multiple contrast ... after the patient has left, thus making it possible to ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 ... has announced the addition of the  ... in the Global Cell Surface Testing ... Opportunities" report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... --> adds "Global ... and "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide ... 2021 forecasts data and information to ... . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: