Mahatma Ghandi once said, “A nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” I believe the same can be said of a workplace safety culture. But keeping safety top of mind can be challenging. It is easy to show up to work each day and take for granted that we will return home safely. Sadly, that is not always the case.

More than 4,800 workers are killed each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 4.4 million workplace injuries occur annually. These tragedies affect men and women, often in the prime of their lives, and it is a dangerous mindset to think it could never happen to you.

Understanding worker perceptions of safety is crucial to reducing injuries and deaths. When average American workers were asked about the culture of safety in their workplaces, here’s what was found:

Thirty-six percent of employees feel employers prioritize productivity over safety

Completing work should never be more important than your safety. Workers are a company’s most important asset, and it is an employer’s job to build a culture where safety comes first. The best workplaces encourage employees to stop a job, the production line or the project if a threat to safety is identified.

Thirty percent of employees are afraid to report safety issues

We know it may be hard to speak up when an issue arises, but it is crucial to your safety and the safety of those around you. You should never fear retaliation for bringing up a safety concern – odds are you aren’t alone in your thinking, and management can help fix the issue if they know about it.

Understanding worker perceptions of safety is crucial to reducing injuries and deaths.

Sixty-two percent of workers say all employees help in solving job safety issues

As a worker, you know your job the best. If we want 100 percent of workers to feel that safety is part of their job description, it is important for management to involve employees in safety decisions. Take an active role in your company’s safety committee and always report and be on the lookout for dangers.

Ultimately, it is an employer’s responsibility to create a culture of safety within an organization. But for this culture to thrive we need to keep safety in our heart and soul. If safety remains top of mind, we can help keep each other safe because everyone deserves to come home safely to their family and friends.


Safety Circuit

  • ISEA Annual Meeting 2017 | November 29-December 1 | Arlington, VA — safetyequipment.org

  • Safety Leadership Conference - EHS Today | November 28-30, 2017 | Atlanta, GA — safetyleadershipconference.com

  • National Conference on Worker Safety and Health | December 5-7, 2017 | Baltimore, MD — coshnetwork.org/Conference2017

  • World of Concrete | January 23-26, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV — worldofconcrete.com

  • SeminarFest | February 1-8, 2018 | Las Vegas, NV — seminarfest.asse.org

  • Safety Services Nova Scotia Workplace Health & Safety Conference |April 9-10, 2018 | Halifax, NS — conference.safetyservicesns.com

  • AIHce EXPO 2018 | May 21-23, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA  — aihce2018.org

  • ASSE Safety 2018 | June 3-8, 2018 | San Antonio, TX — safety.asse.org