One of the study reports from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, for workers the most important workplace issue is safety!
It was found that more than eight of ten workers — 85% — 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.
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, DC, which includes a workers’ rights programme.
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 2010 oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Workplace safety is too often ignored or accidents taken for granted. 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.”
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 study done for the Public Welfare Foundation found that about 12% of workers reported an on-the-job injury during the past year, and 37% said they have required medical treatment at one time for a workplace injury.
Unsafe working conditions end up costing the public dearly, but no matter what the cost to the general public, the workers and their families pay the highest price.