Americans Feel Immune to Workplace Injuries, Report Finds

More than half of all working Americans don't think a workplace injury will happen to them, according to a study released by Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance (MEM). Some 64 percent disagreed with the statement that a workplace injury will happen to them, and 53 percent said the odds are slim that a work injury will leave them permanently disabled. "Many employees adopt the 'It won't happen to me' attitude when it comes to workplace safety," states Steve Holmes, MEM loss prevention manager. But statistics show otherwise, he says. "In 2001, 3.9 million people experienced a disabling injury. Employees need to understand that they are not immune to the devastating effects [of work injuries]."

Nearly three out of four employees surveyed admitted that they could be more safety conscious at work-and more than 95 percent say they should take a more proactive role in ensuring that injuries don't occur. Most respondents placed responsibility for safety in management's hands, with 95.7 percent saying employers are responsible for creating a safe environment for employees. "These numbers are particularly troublesome," Holmes concludes. "They show that employees understand the need for workplace safety, but are not willing to take responsibility to ensure a workplace injury doesn't happen to them or a coworker." Complete survey results are available at