We can all agree that workplace safety is important. However, there can be significant differences in perceptions of what safety measures are considered adequate. Each year, Fluke conducts a survey that explores the trends in sentiment on workplace safety, including the role of technology, training, culture, leadership, and responsibilities. Fluke is a product provider for the manufacturing and service industries.
In its third year, the Fluke Safety Survey surveyed more than 900 electrical workers across the United States. The most common jobs of survey respondents were electrician, maintenance technician, and engineer. The survey revealed some interesting statistics on workplace safety, such as:
- 98% of respondents agree that workplace safety is connected to a strong safety culture. However, only 37% of respondents agree that most companies have a strong culture of safety.
- 38% of respondents answered “workers/yourself” when asked who is most responsible for workplace safety. Other answers in this category include supervisors/managers, safety managers, company leadership, and human resources.
- 95% of respondents believe more can be done to make their workplace safer.
- 56% of respondents have ideas on how to make the industry safer.
- 78% of respondents believe that electricians don’t always wear personal protective equipment because it’s inconvenient, such as ill-fitting electrical gloves.
- 72% stay up to date on electrical standards
- 68% participate in regular safety training classes
The respondents revealed their sentiments on who is more responsible for safety. And it seems that many of these perceptions have remained unchanged over the past three years, based on Fluke’s past safety surveys. And the overall sentiment is that organizations should be doing a better job creating a safe work environment.
Creating a Strong Safety Culture
Almost all respondents of the Fluke Safety Survey agree that a strong safety culture is crucial to increasing workplace safety. When an organization has a strong culture of safety, it promotes safety programs. It fosters positive perceptions and attitudes surrounding safety, such as a shared sense of responsibility, ethical practices, and respect.
While respondents mostly believed that it was the workers’ or their duty to maintain workplace safety, leadership must also recognize that it plays a key role in promoting safety values. Safety responsibilities must be clearly established and defined across all levels of the organization. Leadership needs to communicate the importance of effective health and safety programs. Commitment to safety can be demonstrated by training workers; training sessions can be repeated regularly to reinforce learning.
One of the best ways to build a strong safety culture within your organization is to involve your workers. According to the Fluke Safety Survey, only 56% of respondents had ideas on how to make the industry safer; however, only 21.7% offered actual ideas. Employees would be more inclined to actively think of ways to improve workplace safety if their leaders encouraged them. Increase employee engagement, particularly when addressing safety, by making reporting of concerns comfortable. Empower them to share their ideas by giving them the right platforms to communicate.