NSC Poll: One-third of American Workers Do Not Feel Prepared for an Emergency

Employers are encouraged to review processes and procedures as Emergency Preparedness Month ends.

​Itasca, IL – According to a National Safety Council poll, 34% of workers in the United States do not feel well trained in emergency practices, including evacuation. The finding reveals a disconnect between workers' perceptions and those of their employers. Seventy-five percent of managers and supervisors say their employees are well trained to handle an emergency.

In light of the findings, NSC is calling for all employers to review emergency processes and procedures, particularly as Emergency Preparedness Month draws to a close.

"A disaster can occur at any time, without warning, and workers must be ready to respond," said John Dony, director of the Campbell Institute and director of Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability at NSC. "Employers are responsible for ensuring not only a safe work environment, but also the proper training so employees return home every day safe and sound."

The Council found workers in some industries feel better prepared for an emergency than others. Eighty-three percent of employees who work in public transportation feel they are equipped to handle an emergency, while only 51% of food service workers believe they are prepared.

To better prepare workers for emergencies, NSC recommends employers:

  • Conduct regular fire and tornado drills
  • Provide workplace violence education and training, including how to handle an active shooter situation
  • Communicate impending risks, including inclement weather
  • Offer First Aid and CPR training to employees
  • Understand how well trained employees believe they are by conducting regular employee perception surveys

Full survey results and methodology are available here.



About the National Safety Council

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities. Safety+Health magazine, the Council's flagship publication, is a leading source of occupational safety and health information.

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