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Most U.S. Workers Have Little Faith in Employers' Natural Disaster Preparation

June 1, 2012
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A new study suggests that the vast majority of U.S. workers have little confidence in their employers' preparation for dealing with natural disasters.

According to the Business Risk Pulse Check study from Johnston, Rhode Island-based Factory Mutual Insurance Co. which does business as FM Global, 75 percent of U.S. workers feel their employer is not well prepared for a natural disaster, with 25 percent indicating they feel their employer is well prepared.

There's slightly more confidence among employees of large enterprises—those of 1,000 or more employees—where 36 percent said they felt their employer was very well prepared for natural disaster and 64 percent said they felt their employer was not well prepared. Among small to medium-sized enterprises, however, 81 percent felt their employer was not well prepared with only 19 percent feeling their employer was well prepared for a natural disaster.

Workers surveyed also indicated they would be concerned for their safety in the workplace during a natural disaster, with 72 percent saying they would not feel totally safe vs. 28 percent that said they would feel very safe. Among employees of large enterprises, 67% said they would feel not totally safe in the workplace during a natural disaster vs. 33 percent that would feel very safe, while among small to medium-sized enterprises 76 percent said they would not feel totally safe, with 24 percent saying they would feel very safe.

Employees also indicated little confidence in their employers' ability to recover from natural disaster, with 71 percent saying they were not fully confident their employer could bounce back quickly and 29 percent said they were very confident their employer could recover quickly.

Again, employees of small to medium-sized enterprises were the least confident with 77 percent saying they were not fully confident in their employer's ability to bounce back vs. 23 percent who said they were very confident.

Among large enterprises, 61 percent of employees said they were not fully confident their employer could recover quickly from a natural disaster while 39 percent said they were very confident in their employer's ability to bounce back.

The national online survey of U.S.-based employees was conducted for FM Global this month by TNS. There were 1,364 total respondents, 847 from small to medium-sized enterprises and 517 from large employers.

Rodd Zolkos writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

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