The State of Safety. Breaking down the results of a nationawide survey of 1024 business owners, manager and decision-makers. #StateofSafetyA new national State of Safety survey conducted among members of the Angus Reid Forum on behalf of Threads of Life found the greatest challenge to improving health and safety at their company for 49% of respondents is a lack of time for training. This was consistent across all sizes and sectors with 55% of the largest companies (500+ employees) identifying this as a challenge.   “This survey is a good news/bad news set of results,” said Shirley Hickman, Executive Director of Threads of Life. “The good news is that lots of people reported having good programs in place at their companies. However, many have challenges finding the time for health and safety training – particularly due to understaffing in today’s employment environment. Medium-sized companies seem to be struggling the most with challenges to health and safety.” Below are the key findings of the State of Safety survey conducted by Threads of Life from February 26th to March 11th, 2024 among a sample of 1024 business owners, managers and decision-makers who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French.

  • Medium-sized businesses also have challenges with confusing health and safety rules and regulations (43%) while more than a third of small and large business agree confusing regulations prevent them improving safety at their workplace
  • 74% of respondents say their company/employer has safety training. This is lowest (70%) among organizations with fewer than 100 employees. Of micro-businesses (2 to 9 employees) only 59% report having safety training in place
  • A third of respondents (34%) agree either strongly or somewhat that health and safety rules are a cost without much payback and nearly a quarter (23%) agree that a certain number of accidents and injuries are the cost of doing business
  • One quarter (24%) of respondents who identified understaffing as a challenge said that understaffing diminishes their company’s ability to avoid accidents and incidents. This was highest among medium (35%) and large-sized (31%) businesses and lowest (20%) in smaller businesses 
  • On the positive side, getting buy-in for health and safety does not pose a significant challenge – overall 80% reported that getting senior management buy-in is not a problem, and 70% reported getting employee buy-in is not a problem. Medium-sized businesses were most likely to find employee and senior management buy-in a challenge (42% and 32%)

“We are not safety experts, but because of their own experience with tragedy, our members have an intense personal interest in workplace health and safety. We are deeply committed to preventing future tragedies,” explains Hickman, whose son died in an explosion at the arena where he worked in London, Ontario. “At Threads of Life we always believe that one death, one injury, one illness is too many. We all need to do better for the safety of our workers.”

About Angus Reid Forum surveys:
These are the findings of a survey conducted by Threads of Life from February 26th to March 11th, 2024, among a sample of 1,024 Canadian online adults who are business owners / hiring managers / business decision makers and members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/-3.06 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

About the Angus Reid Forum:
The Angus Reid Forum is Canada’s most well-known and trusted online public opinion community consisting of engaged residents across the country who answer surveys on topical issues that matter to all Canadians.

Susan Haldane