Staff training was identified as a top priority by respondents to the survey.

A survey of ‘frontline workers’ conducted by SafetyCulture and YouGov found that less than half had received workplace health and safety training in the past year.

The survey, titled Feedback from the Field sought the responses of American, British and Australian ‘frontline workers’ (defined as ‘those who must physically show up to their job’) was originally produced for the United Nations World Day for Health and Safety at Work, April 28.

In total, the sample size was 1,980 ‘frontline workers’ from industries including hospitality, retail, and manufacturing and logistics, with 553 of those from Australia. The survey was conducted by safety solutions firm, SafetyCulture, and British pollster and market research organisation, YouGov.

Alongside finding that only 44 per cent of workers had received safety training in the past year, Feedback from the Field also uncovered that nearly a quarter (24 per cent) hadn’t received any training at all in the past year.

Bob Butler, SafetyCulture’s Global General Manager, said, “Our research shows that a degree of complacency is creeping into workplaces as we emerge from the pandemic and companies battle ongoing labour shortages, increased demands on productivity, and workplace burnout.

“However, working with our customers around the world, we continue to see how simple it can be to harness new technology, implement small changes and start the wheel of continuous improvement.”

According to the survey’s findings, over a third (35 per cent) are unsure where to find their company’s health and safety policy, and 10 per cent were unsure if their company even had such a policy.

The survey also showed that interest in safety was not limited to inspectors and safety officers, with 49 per cent of those surveyed saying that ‘health and wellbeing’ was a topic that matter to them most, while 46 per cent said ‘safety’ and another 54 per cent said ‘operations.’ In total, 67 per cent of workers stated that they never, rarely, or only sometimes felt they were listened to on these issues.

Reasons for inaction cited included a lack of empowerment (with only 27 per cent of Australian workers saying they felt empowered to solve an issue) and a fear of retaliation of management.

Responding to these results, Butler said, “While frontline workers have kept our nations running over the past 18 months, many don’t feel that their voices are valued. It’s clear that these critical workers want a say in the operations and running of their workplaces.”

“Two-way communication between frontline workers and management is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it is a business imperative. Leaders need to be arming their teams with the right tools to allow them to add value, be heard, and stay safe.

Indeed, the survey’s results suggest training is highly valued by workers themselves, with 70 per cent of those surveyed stating that training was either a top priority, or ‘very important’. In comparison, only four in ten of the surveyed placed a ‘competitive holiday allowance’ in the same bracket.

Butler believes that for management and business-owners, advances in technology can streamline the training process and heighten safety at work.

“Technology can help sharpen our focus, making sure every detail and element of risk is accounted for in business operations. Every worker has a role to play in preventing occupational accidents and their employers can help by investing in the right tools and effective training.”

“[The UN World Day for Health and Safety at Work] is the perfect opportunity to start putting health and safety firmly back on the agenda,” Butler said.

The full Feedback from the Field report can be read for free (with the submission of an email address) here.

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