Disengaged workers face greater risk of injury

Aug 24, 2023
Written by WR Communications


An insightful study published by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) sheds light on the factors contributing to employee engagement, and its impacts can vary in different business settings.

The ASSP study underscores the link between engagement and safety outcomes, urging organizations to cultivate a culture of engagement that transcends work tasks and extends to quality safety practices. Investing time and money into employee engagement requires thoughtfulness and strategy, which pay dividends.

Engaged employees have fewer accidents. Injury rates are 60% higher among disengaged employees, meaning engagement is as essential to their safety as the safety program itself.

There are distinctive characteristics among engaged workers who did not have job-related injuries. These engaged employees consistently exhibited the following behaviors:

  • 95% adhered to safety procedures was almost universal
  • 92% properly used personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • 92% demonstrated strong support for new policies and procedures
  • 89% had a proactive approach to addressing unsafe behaviors, including nonconforming co-workers
  • 79% regularly reported unsafe behaviors

Conversely, workers who reported job-related injuries displayed lower levels of engagement and had worked at the business for over five years. Of these disengaged workers:

  • 80.4% reported that they partially supported safety policies and procedures
  • 73.5% perceived that safety measures hindered task completion
  • 70% admitted they had infrequently reviewed Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) documents
  • 39% infrequently engaged with management regarding safety concerns

The data underscores a correlation between employee engagement in the safety program and the incidence of job-related injuries. Even without an in-depth examination of the business’s safety culture, it is evident how these incidents can occur. Disregarding safety steps in a task heightens injury risks. Workers who do not endorse safety policies and perceive them as obstacles are less inclined to observe them.

So, what is next? The next step for business owners and safety managers is to engage employees with their work and the safety program. Empowering employees with a voice and ownership in their safety journey ensures they:

Embrace safety policies and procedures.

Communicate safety concerns to management.

Regularly review pertinent documents and plans.

Our safety team is available to help members improve their safety program beyond compliance toward quality safety practices. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more.


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