Workplace Safety Survey Shows Healthcare Employees Lack Awareness of Emergency Plans

Rave Mobile Safety based in Framingham, MA released the findings of its yearly workplace safety and preparedness survey. According to the report, emergency preparedness was better this year than in 2017, but there is still much to be improved, particularly in the healthcare and education sectors.

The survey involved the participation of 540 full time employees in the U.S. engaged in a number of industries. The goal of the survey was to look for practices in emergency planning, get the opinions of employees regarding workplace security, and learn more about the efforts made to make sure of reliable communication in the instance of an emergency and notify employees in danger.

The survey reveals that companies are progressively creating plans designed for modern emergencies, for instance workplace violence and cyberattacks, active shooters and system failures. Then again, more effort is needed in disseminating emergency plans to employees.

20% of employees were not aware of their company’s emergency plans in case of cyberattacks and system failures. 18% of employees were not aware of their company’s emergency plan in case of active shooters and workplace violence. The National Safety Council statistics show that there are about 2 million people who are victims of workplace violence each year. Workplace violence is actually the third major cause of workplace deaths in the healthcare sector. 37% of women were not aware of emergency plans for workplace violence, although workplace violence is the second top cause of workplace death for women.

It is necessary to plan for emergencies, but testing emergency plans is also necessary to be sure they work. A lot of companies have established emergency plans but they are not tested if they work. 53% of surveyed workers said there’s no testing of workplace violence plans and 55% said the same for cyberattacks, even if there is a major risk of the two types of attack taking place.

The survey showed traditional communication methods for emergencies are declining and a lot of companies are now using mobile technology like text messages and apps for communication in emergency cases. Email is still the number one channel of communication in emergencies. It is a slower communication compared to text messaging and apps. In case of a cyberattack, email may possibly not be used.

55% of organizations utilized email for communication with workers during emergency scenarios, although only 11% of workers said they choose this way of communication. 50% of employees prefer text message alerts, though only 44% of organizations use text messages to notify their employees regarding emergency situations.

This survey reveals how employees feel regarding their level of safety when at the workplace and an emergency situation happens. It also shows the disconnection in communication channels between employers and their employees during emergencies and how they like to be informed.