Report uncovers employee safety concerns, points to gaps in training

Vector Solutions' new report, based on a survey of 600 industry professionals, examines the state of worker safety and well-being in organizations across the country.

Vector Solutions' new report, based on a survey of 600 industry professionals, examines the state of worker safety and well-being in organizations across the country.

New research from Vector Solutions, a leading provider of training, compliance, and performance management solutions for critical industrial sectors, reveals important safety and preparedness priorities for the industrial workforce, the company recently announced.

The “State of Industrial Worker Safety and Well-Being Report” surveyed more than 600 full-time professionals across maintenance, production and operations, engineering, health and safety, and other crucial roles within industrial organizations in the United States. The study's findings uncover significant gaps in worker education and safety precautions that must be urgently addressed, Vector Solutions added.

The U.S. manufacturing industry is expected to reach a critical shortage of 3.8 million workers within the next decade. To avoid high turnover, industrial employers must strive to promote retention by every means possible, Vector Solutions stated. One key method for preventing employee churn is by ensuring employees feel safe and confident in their abilities to complete their daily tasks. Vector Solutions' latest study found that safety is the second most important factor for workers to remain in a job, second only to pay.

But despite the value they place on safety, nearly half (46%) of workers believe their employer could be doing more to reduce safety incidents. Another 83% note that their company's safety protocols feel like checkboxes rather than genuine commitments to employee well-being. This checkbox perception illustrates a pressing need for employers to showcase that they take the safety and professional development of their workers seriously, or risk losing talent to the competition. Furthermore, while the research uncovered notable safety concerns among workers, 58% of them believe additional training would improve their workplace safety.

“Safety plays a critical role in the well-being and productivity of our workforce,” said Clare Epstein, General Manager of Commercial at Vector Solutions. “We conducted this study to better understand the current state of safety initiatives, training, and technology within the industrial sector. The findings revealed that employers have a lot of room for growth when it comes to prioritizing the safety of their workers, especially with regards to providing staff with accessible and comprehensive safety training.”

Additional findings from the report include:

  • 81% report that their training makes them feel more inclined to stay at the company
  • 62% believe that good training improves job satisfaction
  • 57% say that safety issues make more seasoned workers leave – which contributes to the skills gap
  • 44% say that safety issues make it harder to hire – which contributes to the labor shortage and widening skills gap

Implementing training solutions does not necessarily mean that content is accessible to all employees, Vector Solutions added. The report revealed that non-native English speakers are dealing with concerning disparities, including:

  • Half of non-native English speakers say that their company doesn't offer training in their native language
  • Non-native English speakers were 27% more likely than their native English-speaking counterparts to feel pressured to prioritize productivity over safety in the workplace
  • Non-native English speakers were 127% more likely to say they do not feel comfortable reporting workplace hazards than native English speakers

Other key findings regarding the value of training include:

  • 100% say that safety training is essential for fostering a safe workplace
  • 50% say that their company's training is not engaging, with those in electrical maintenance being 100% more likely than average to say this
  • 29% of those who are unsatisfied with their training are considering leaving their job for this reason

To learn more about Vector Solutions' The State of Industrial Worker Safety and Well-Being Report, click here.

All findings are based on a survey of more than 600 full-time industrial professionals, conducted in April 2024. Survey conducted at 95% confidence, +/- 4% margin of error. Each respondent works full-time in an industrial role and lives in the United States.