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Satisfaction with safety at job drops to lowest level in almost 20 years amid pandemic

Satisfaction with safety at job drops to lowest level in almost 20 years amid pandemic
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Americans’ satisfaction with their physical safety while at their job has dropped to its lowest level in nearly 20 years amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The Gallup poll found that 65 percent of U.S. workers surveyed are satisfied with the physical safety conditions of their job, the lowest point in the poll since 2001.

The job safety satisfaction fell 9 percentage points from last year, while the highest reported satisfaction with physical safety conditions since 2000 was 79 percent three years ago.

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The decrease in satisfaction comes as the coronavirus pandemic has flipped the traditional workplace upside down, with many working remotely and those working in person taking on new measures such as wearing a face mask or practicing physical distancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The biggest drops in satisfaction from last year’s poll occurred among respondents with a household income less than $75,000, those who did not graduate from college and men, with each group having an at least 14 percentage point drop.

Gallup’s Annual Work and Education poll surveyed respondents on their satisfaction with 12 job aspects besides job safety, but only workplace safety had a significant change from 2019’s results. 

Before this year, Gallup noted that physical safety satisfaction ranked among the highest out of the aspects measured, but now it is behind satisfaction with co-worker relations, at 75 percent, and flexibility of work hours, at 68 percent.

People who are working from home reported more satisfaction with job safety at 74 percent compared to 61 percent of those who said they are working mostly or completely outside of the home. Gallup estimates that about 1 in 4 workers are working remotely full time.

The poll also comes as millions in the U.S. have applied for unemployment benefits after many lost their jobs in the pandemic. 

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,031 adults, with a sample of 529 adults who are employed full-or part-time, between July 30 and Aug. 12. The margin of error for this sample amounted to 5 percentage points.