The majority of the public, 93%, believe it is important that all health and safety measures are taken in their workplace. Slightly more, 96%, believe it is very important that all health and safety measures are taken when they hire someone to do a job for them. Although some 82% of respondents believe that accidents continue to increase, only 21% said they sometimes feel the need to report hazards.
All this is the result of an opinion survey on occupational safety and health, conducted between October 4 and 12 this year, with the participation of 651 people who agreed to continue the entire survey. The results of this survey were announced at a MCESD meeting held yesterday, convened by the General Workers Union on the topic of occupational health and safety.
According to participant statistics, 4.1 percent reported working from home, 7.1 percent reported working outside the home but in various locations (e.g., construction workers, delivery workers, and contractors), nearly 9 percent reported working outside but in a fixed location (e.g., security guards), and nearly 37 percent reported working indoors, including in offices and schools. Just over 43% of respondents indicated that they either do not work or are retired.
On a positive note, the majority of respondents indicated that it is very important to them that workplace health and safety is protected for both them and the employees they hire. Of concern, however, is the fact that while 82% of respondents believe that the number of accidents has increased, 76% said they have never felt the need to report a hazard and 3% said they would not.
Due to the significant increase in accidents on construction sites, respondents were asked what bothers them most on these sites. 33 percent of respondents said that it was precisely the risk to workers’ health and safety that bothered them the most. This was followed by dust and noise pollution at more than 29 percent and damage to other people’s property at 15 percent. 7.5 percent said they were bothered by work starting too early in the day, work continuing in the afternoon or into the late evening, 7.5 percent said they were bothered by the impact on traffic and traffic management near construction sites, and 3 percent pointed out that they were bothered by the impact on the health and safety of others.
When asked who they thought was responsible for health and safety in the workplace, 59% responded that the responsibility lies with the general public. The rest of the participants had different opinions, with 28% believing that the employer is responsible for the health and safety of its employees, almost 9% saying that the employee himself is responsible, while 3.6% said that the Occupational Health and Safety Authority, OHSA, is responsible.
Asked specifically about liability on construction sites, more than 61 percent of participants said that both the Developer and the client who commissioned the work, the OHSA, the worker himself, the -project supervisor and the contractor are all responsible for health and safety. 14.3 percent of the participants said that the Contractor is responsible.
Participants were asked about the best way to improve health and safety in the workplace and among various opinions, 56 percent stressed the need for more education and training for workers and harsher penalties for those who break the law in this regard. More than 22 percent agreed with the withdrawal of the permit or license of those involved, 9.4 percent expressed the need for OHSA to have more resources while 7.2 percent mentioned the need to carry out campaigns of public education.
The survey was intended to give a better picture of how the citizen views the OHSA. From among the participants there were more than 88 percent who answered that they never had contact while a little more than 11 percent answered that they sometimes had contact or used the services of OHSA.