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August 17, 2012
Survey: Office workers unsure of company safety plans

A recent survey commissioned by Staples.com of small business managers and office workers on office health and safety showed gaps in office workers’ awareness of companies’ safety plans and preparedness, a situation that could lead to increased accidents and injuries. The survey found that managers were far better informed about workplace safety preparedness than office workers, who were uncertain about what they should do in case of an emergency.

For example, nearly 70 percent of managers say their company has an emergency communication plan, but nearly half of office workers are either unsure if a plan exists or say their company doesn’t have a plan. In addition, 50 percent of office workers said they participate in safety drills only once every few years or never. Only 19 percent of office workers think their company is prepared for a major medical emergency.

The Staples Safety Survey was conducted through a third party research company. A total of 208 office managers and 204 office workers responded to the survey from small businesses with under 50 employees.

According to the survey, managers were almost 50 percent more likely than nonmanagers to be able to locate their company’s safety-related supplies such as defibrillators, eyewash, dust masks, and caution and wet floor signs.

Small businesses prepare for emergencies and prevent accidents by acquiring an assortment of high-quality and dependable safety supplies such as gloves and eye/ear/face protection, fire extinguishers, first aid supplies, and even defibrillators,
said a Staples representative.

Additional safety findings from the survey include:

  • When it comes to fire, more than 70 percent of both managers and office workers felt their company was somewhat or very prepared.
  • When it comes to flooding, only 50 percent of employees felt their company was adequately prepared. This is a particularly concerning statistic because, according to the National Weather Service Forecast Office, flooding causes more damage in the United States than any other severe weather-related event, costing an average of $4.6 billion a year.
  • While 56 percent of managers said they were either very prepared or somewhat prepared in case of a hazardous material exposure, only 23 percent of office workers said they would know what to do in that circumstance.

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