Saturday, July 08, 2006

Employers: No Time For No Stinkin' Workplace Safety

A poll sponsored by the Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America, a workers comp provider, has discovered something that's fairly obvious to the readers of Confined Space: Worker safety is not a big priority for employers.
A quarter of polled Michigan businesses said lack of time is the top obstacle to educating employees on workplace safety, a statewide survey released this week shows.

The telephone survey of 700 business owners, operators and managers also found that 61% said their companies gave little or no increased focus on health and wellness education in the last 12 months.

Employees who believe their companies care about their health and safety are more likely to be valuable and loyal workers, said Bob Metzger, communications adviser for Accident Fund Insurance Co. of America, a Lansing-based provider of workers compensation insurance that sponsored the survey.
Here are the findings of the survey, along with a helpful translation provided by the folks at the Southeast Michigan Coalition for Safety and Health (SEMCOSH):
  • Undecided (I don't know, we don't care about that) 38%

  • Lack of time (No time to work safely, we need to make production) 25%

  • High employee turnover (Everyone quits before we can train them) 11%

  • Availability of information (There's no information. OSHA? What's that?) 7%

  • Cost of training (It's cheaper to fire injured workers) 7%

  • Other reasons (Other lame excuses) 11%

    The data also showed that 61% of respondents said their companies gave "little" or "no" increased focus on health and wellness education in the last 12 months. ("Oh, and we're planning to eliminate insurance benefits after the next round of union concession bargaining. Then if the workers get sick, who cares, it won't be our problem.")