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Do construction companies give enough priority to safety?

Many unique dangers and safety risks can come up at construction sites. These hazards sometimes lead to construction workers getting seriously hurt or killed. The construction industry is among the industries that see the most occupational deaths annually. So, it is of little surprise that construction tends to be identified as a high-risk line of work.

Given the high-risk nature construction work can have, giving safety its proper due is particularly important for construction employers. This makes the results of a recent survey rather worrisome.

The survey indicates that it is particularly common for construction workers to feel that their employer puts productivity over safety.

In the survey, 2,000 workers from various industries were asked questions regarding their employer and workplace safety. Of the respondents to the survey who worked in construction, 60 percent felt that, at the organization they worked for, finishing tasks was a higher priority than safety. In comparison, among survey respondents generally, only 33 percent expressed this belief.

What do you think this disparity says about the current state of safety in the construction industry and how much focus safety is being given by employers in this industry?

Construction employers not giving enough of a priority to safety can be a major roadblock in construction employees having a safe place to work and can open the door to serious construction site accidents. It could lead to an employer failing to take adequate safety steps at its construction sites. Also, perceptions that their employer puts productivity (or other things) over safety could lead to the employer’s workers feeling like their standing with their employer could be put in danger if they do things like report safety problems they see or stand up for safety in the workplace. What things do you think can help encourage construction companies to give safety its proper due?

Source: National Safety Council, “One Third of American Workers Say Their Employers Prioritize Productivity Over Safety,” June 20, 2016

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