-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Safety is the most important
workplace issue, say 85 percent of American workers.
Workplace safety, in fact, ranked first in importance among
labor standards, ahead of issues such as minimum wage, family and
maternity leave, paid sick days, overtime pay and the right to join
That's the finding of researchers who analyzed dozens of surveys
and polls conducted from 2001 to 2010 by the National Opinion
Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.
The study was conducted for the Washington, D.C.-based Public
Welfare Foundation, which includes a workers' rights program.
Even though there is widespread public concern about workplace
safety, the media and public tend to pay the most attention to the
issue when there are workplace disasters, said the researchers. But
they noted that even when such tragedies occur, the fate of workers
is often overlooked, citing the recent BP 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 (BP) drilling platform," Tom W. Smith, director of the NORC's General Social Survey, said in a University of Chicago news release.
The disaster is an example of how poor workplace safety can have
a wide-reaching impact, he said.
Smith noted that if high levels of safety had been maintained on
the drilling platform, "not only would the lives of the 11 workers
been saved, but the whole environmental disaster would have been
The study also 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
"Workplace safety should be a constant concern," Robert Shull, program officer for workers' rights at the Public Welfare Foundation, said in the news release. "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."
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health
Administration has more about
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.